Syfy (formerly Sci-Fi Channel and Sci Fi) is an American basic cable
and satellite television channel that is owned by the NBCUniversal
Cable Entertainment Group division of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of
Comcast. The channel features science fiction, fantasy, horror,
supernatural, paranormal, drama, and reality programming.
available to 92.4 million households in America.
1.1 Branding history
Syfy original films
3.3 Science Fiction Weekly
3.4 Sci Fi Magazine
5 See also
7 External links
In 1989, Boca Raton, Florida, communications attorney Mitchell
Rubenstein and his wife Laurie Silvers devised the concept for the
Sci-Fi Channel, and planned to have it begin broadcasting in December
1990, but lacked the resources to launch it. In March 1992, the
concept was picked up by USA Networks, then a joint venture between
Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios. The channel was seen
as a natural fit with classic films and television series that both
studios had in their vaults, including Universal's Dracula,
Frankenstein, and the
Rod Serling TV series Night Gallery, along with
Paramount's Star Trek. Star Trek's creator
Gene Roddenberry and author
Isaac Asimov were among those on the initial advisory board, but
both had died by the time the channel finally launched on September
24, 1992. Rubenstein recalled: "The first thing that was on the screen
was 'Dedicated to the memories of
Isaac Asimov and Gene
Leonard Nimoy was master of ceremonies at the
channel's launch party, held at the
Hayden Planetarium in Manhattan.
Asimov's widow Janet and Roddenberry's widow
Majel Barrett were both
in attendance. The first program shown on the network was the film
In 1994, Paramount was sold to Viacom, followed by Seagram's purchase
of a controlling stake in MCA (of which Universal was a subsidiary)
from Matsushita (a.k.a Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
(松下電器産業株式会社, Matsushita Denki Sangyō
Kabushiki-gaisha) the next year. In 1997,
Viacom sold its stake in
USA Networks to Universal, who spun off all its television assets to
Barry Diller the next year. Three years later, Diller would sell these
assets back to Universal, by then a subsidiary of
Vivendi SA (at the
time known as
Vivendi Universal). Vivendi's film and television
production and cable television assets were then merged with General
NBC to form
NBC Universal in 2004.
A high definition version of the channel launched on October 3, 2007
on DirecTV. In 2013,
Syfy was given the James Randi Educational
Pigasus Award for what was described as questionable
reality programming involving paranormal topics.
Sci Fi logo, 2002–2009
From 1992 to 1999, the network's first logo consisted of a planet with
a ring, made to look like Saturn, with "SCI-FI CHANNEL" written on it.
The network's second logo, which was used from 1999 to 2002, dropped
the hyphen and the word "CHANNEL" from the name. The network's
third and final "ringed planet" logo ran from 2002 to 2009, and was
designed by Lambie-Nairn. The logo made its debut on December 2, 2002,
with the launch of the
Steven Spielberg miniseries Taken. The network
also launched a new image campaign with the tagline "If", which
expresses the limitless possibilities of the imagination.
Identification bumps depicted surreal situations such as a baby
breathing fire, as well as a woman in a stately sitting room kissing a
bug-eyed, big-eared animal.
Syfy logo, 2009–2017
On March 16, 2009,
NBCUniversal announced that Sci Fi was rebranding
as "Syfy". Network officials also noted that, unlike the generic term
"sci fi", which represents the entire genre, the term "Syfy" as a
sensational spelling can be protected by trademark and therefore would
be easier to market on other goods or services without fear of
confusion with other companies' products. The only significant
previous use of the term "Syfy" in relation to science fiction was by
the website SyFy Portal, which became
Airlock Alpha after selling the
NBC Universal (represented by a shell company) in February
2009 for $250,000.
The name change was greeted with initial negativity, with
people deliberately mispronouncing "Syfy" as /ˈsɪfi/ SIF-ee or
/ˈsiːfi/ SEE-fee to make fun of the name change. The parody news
Stephen Colbert made fun of the name change on The Colbert
Report by giving the channel a "Tip of the Hat" for "spelling the name
the way it's pronounced" and noting that "the tide is turning in my
long fought battle against the insidious 'soft C'". The new name
took effect on July 7, 2009.
Syfy has since added reality shows
and edged further from strictly science fiction, fantasy and horror
The rebranding efforts at
NBC Universal's Sci Fi Channels worldwide
resulted in most rebranding as "Syfy" or "
Syfy Universal"; however,
over one-third of the channels did not take on "Syfy" as any part of
their names: channels in Japan and the Philippines rebranded to or
were replaced by Universal Channel, while each of the channels in
Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia would become Sci Fi Universal.
In Polish, "Syfy" does not suggest imagination or science fiction, but
rather syphilis. In Australia, the Sci Fi channel was a joint
venture not solely owned by
NBC Universal; the channel was uniquely
rebranded as "SF" until its closure, and was replaced by a NBC
Universal solely-owned version of Syfy, branded as such, matching the
standard international "Syfy" branding.
On May 11, 2017,
Syfy unveiled a new logo, a new slogan ("It's a Fan
Thing"), and new imaging, which it adopted on June 19 in honor of the
channel's 25th anniversary. The new branding aims to re-position the
channel back towards targeting fans of the fantasy and sci-fi genres;
network head Chris McCumber explained that the new logo was meant be a
"badge" that could be used across its array of programming. “I can
think of no better occasion than SYFY’s 25th anniversary to get back
to our roots, double down on premium original programming, and put
fans at the center of everything we do,” said Chris McCumber,
President, Entertainment Networks for
Entertainment. “As the only television network dedicated to the
genre 24/7, we’re building the ultimate universe for this passionate
community to call home.”
Syfy also planned to place a larger focus on its genre news division
Syfy Wire, disclosing the possibility of extending the website to
television as well.
Main article: List of programs broadcast by Syfy
Syfy's programming includes original made-for-cable movies,
miniseries, and series. In the past, the channel concentrated on
classic science fiction shows. However, under
the channel has altered its programming to target more mainstream
audiences. In 2006, it began airing programs such as Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit, ECW, and WCG Ultimate Gamer.
The network had gained significant international attention for its
successful original miniseries and subsequent four-season series
Battlestar Galactica. In addition to many awards, the United
Nations invited the main cast to a retrospective and discussion.
Also prominent was the network's airing of Taken, which won the Emmy
Award that year for best miniseries.
Syfy was also known for airing Japanese anime. It first began airing
English dubbed anime films and original video animations in the early
1990s, although the programs were often edited in order to fit the
market pressures typically placed on basic cable. It was the first to
Streamline Pictures English dubs of the films Robot Carnival,
Lensman and Akira, as well as airing Central Park Media's Dominion:
Tank Police, Gall Force, and Project A-ko. After a break in airings,
anime programming returned on June 11, 2007, with a weekly two-hour
programming block called "Ani-Monday". Intended to directly
compete with Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, the block featured English
dubs of various anime series licensed by Manga Entertainment.
During February 2008, the channel also aired anime on Tuesday nights
in a second programming block.
In July 2009,
Syfy announced that they had renewed and expanded their
licensing agreement with
Manga Entertainment to continue
"Ani-Mondays", as well as to add a similar two-hour block of horror
anime (also called "Ani-Monday") to its sister channel Chiller.
Syfy's anime block was later moved to Thursday nights, starting March
14, 2011, where it remained until all anime programming was abruptly
removed from the schedule on June 9, 2011
In addition to the aforementioned ECW,
Syfy has aired other shows from
WWE, including NXT in 2010, and SmackDown from 2010 until 2015, when
the show moved to Syfy's sister channel
USA Network in early
Syfy original films
Main article: List of Sci Fi Pictures original films
See also: Category:
Syfy original films.
Spearheaded and originally launched by
Thomas Vitale in 2001, and
managed by Vitale, Chris Regina, and Ray Cannella, with the later
additions of Karen O'Hara and Macy Lao, Sci Fi Pictures original films
are typically independently-made B-movies with production budgets of
$1 million to $2 million each. These films usually premiere on
Saturday nights. They are also one of the sponsors for the
Coalition for Freedom of Information. The movies have become one
of the longest-lasting vestiges of Syfy's schedule. One of the most
memorable campaigns for the movies presented these films as part of
"The Most Dangerous Night of Television" (Saturdays). Over the years,
Syfy's promotion of the movies leans into the escapist fun promised by
them, with titles such as Sharktopus, Mansquito, Two-Headed Shark
Attack, Ogre, Ice Twisters, Star Runners and
Sharknado.[better source needed] Since 2001,
worked with a number of different production companies (most of them
independent) to make over 200 original movies of this type.
Syfy's website launched in 1995 under the name "The Dominion" at
SciFi.com. It dropped the name in 2000. The site has
Webby Award and a Flash Forward Award. From 2000 to 2005, it
published original science fiction short stories in a section called
"Sci Fiction", edited by Ellen Datlow, who won a 2005
Hugo Award for
her work there. The stories themselves won a World
Fantasy Award; the
Theodore Sturgeon Award for online fiction (for Lucius Shepard's
novella "Over Yonder"), and four of the Science Fiction Writers of
America's Nebula Awards, including the first for original online
fiction (for Linda Nagata's novella "Goddesses").
On April 22, 2006, the site launched Sci Fi Pedia as a commercial wiki
on topics including anime, comics, science fiction, fantasy, horror,
fandom, games and toys, UFOs, genre-related art and audio, and the
paranormal. In 2009, Sci Fi Pedia was shut down without
As part of the channel's rebranding in 2009, the URL was changed to
Syfy.com. As of 2010, Syfy.com began to contain webisode series
including Riese: Kingdom Falling (as of October 26, 2010),[citation
needed] The Mercury Men (as of July 25, 2011), and
Nuclear Family (as of October 15, 2012).
Syfy.com was redesigned in early 2015, allowing users to watch the
live channel on the site, as well as episodes of most current
programming. The website was once again redesigned and combined with
SyfyWire.com on June 19, 2017 in alliance with Syfy's rebranding.
Syfy Wire (formerly Sci-Fi Wire and Blastr) is a website operated by
Syfy which features coverage of news in the science fiction, horror,
and fantasy genres. The site was re-branded in 2010 as Blastr,
with the addition of feature articles, guest columnists (such as Phil
Plait), popular science news and coverage, and video content. In
December 2016, Blastr re-branded as
Syfy Wire; editor-in-chief Adam
Swiderski stated that this change was to closer associate the website
Syfy television channel.
As of March 2018,
Syfy Wire releases five regular podcasts,
including two recap series following The Expanse and Colony and The
Fandom Files, which features interviews with public figures about
their pop culture obsessions. Guests have included Leeland Chee
and Mike Daniels of the New England Patriots.
Science Fiction Weekly
Science Fiction Weekly was an online magazine started and edited by
Craig Engler and Brooks Peck on August 15, 1995. In
April 1996, it began appearing exclusively on "The Dominion" as part
of a partnership with the site, before being sold to the Sci Fi
Channel completely in 1999. The publication covered various
aspects of science fiction, including news, reviews, original art, and
interviews, until it merged with Sci Fi Wire in January 2009.[citation
Sci Fi Magazine
Sci Fi Magazine was the channel's official magazine. It later became
an unaffiliated magazine, but often covers
SyfyGames.com is an online games portal which offers free-to-play MMO
and casual games. The site features predominantly sci-fi and fantasy
games from third party developers. In April 2015, the News section
of SyfyGames.com was rebranded to feature "news from G4", possibly to
prevent the trademark dilution of the "G4" name used by the defunct
cable channel of the same name.
Syfy Games signed a deal with defunct publisher
co-produce De Blob 2.
Syfy Games would also co-produce Red Faction:
In 2008, Syfy, then the Sci Fi Channel, averaged a 1.0 household
rating; 242,000 viewers among Adults 18–34 (up 4% vs 2007); 616,000
viewers among Adults 18–49 (up 5% vs 2007); 695,000 viewers among
Adults 25–54 (up 6% vs 2007) and 1,278,000 total viewers (up 7% vs
2007). It saw two years of consecutive growth among female audiences,
with a 12% increase among women 25–54, a 14% jump in women 18–49
and 6% in women 18–34. The channel also was ranked among the top ten
watched channels for male viewers ages 18–54, and women ages 25–54
Syfy averaged 1.199 million viewers, down 6% from 2009. In
Adults 18–49 the channel averaged .539 million viewers, down 11%
from 2009. For 2010,
Syfy did not hold any of the Top 20 Primetime
Space, a similar Canadian channel
NBCUniversal International Networks
Showcase, produced a number of original series that air on this
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Syfy original programming
The Animation Station (1995–1997)
Cartoon Quest (1992–1995)
First Wave (1998–2001)
FTL Newsfeed (1992–96)
Good vs. Evil (1999–2000)
Mission Genesis (1997)
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1997–2004)
Poltergeist: The Legacy (1999)
Welcome to Paradox (1998)
Battlestar Galactica (2003–09)
Black Scorpion (2001)
The Chronicle (2001–02)
Destination Truth (2007–12)
Doctor Who (2006–09)
The Dresden Files (2007)
Estate of Panic
Estate of Panic (2008)
Flash Gordon (2007–08)
Ghost Hunters (2004-2016)
Ghost Hunters Academy
Ghost Hunters Academy (2009–10)
Ghost Hunters International
Ghost Hunters International (2008–12)
The Invisible Man (2000–02)
Mad Mad House
Mad Mad House (2004)
The Outer Limits (2001–02)
Painkiller Jane (2007)
Proof Positive (2004)
Scare Tactics (2003–13)
The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne (2000)
Stargate SG-1 (2002–2007)
Stargate Atlantis (2004–09)
Stargate Universe (2009–11)
Tripping the Rift
Tripping the Rift (2004–05)
Warehouse 13 (2009–14)
WCG Ultimate Gamer
WCG Ultimate Gamer (2009–10)
Who Wants to Be a Superhero?
Who Wants to Be a Superhero? (2006–07)
The Almighty Johnsons
The Almighty Johnsons (2014)
Bazillion Dollar Club (2015)
Beast Legends (2010)
Being Human (2011–14)
Blood Drive (2017)
Dark Matter (2015-17)
Dream Machines (2012)
Fact or Faked:
Paranormal Files (2010–14)
Ghost Mine (2013)
Haunted Collector (2011–13)
Haunted Highway (2012–13)
Haunting: Australia (2015)
Heroes of Cosplay
Heroes of Cosplay (2013–14)
Hollywood Treasure (2010–12)
Hot Set (2012)
Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge
Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge (2014)
Joe Rogan Questions Everything (2013)
Killer Contact (2013)
Legend Quest (2011)
Lost Girl (2012–16)
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen (2011)
Métal Hurlant Chronicles (2014)
Monster Man (2012)
Naked Vegas (2013)
Opposite Worlds (2014)
Primeval: New World (2013)
School Spirits (2012)
The Internet Ruined My Life (2016)
Total Blackout (2012–13)
Troy: Street Magic (2015)
Weird or What?
Weird or What? (2013)
The Wil Wheaton Project (2014)
WWE NXT (TV series) (2010)
WWE SmackDown (2010–15)
5ive Days to Midnight
5ive Days to Midnight (2004)
Battlestar Galactica (2003)
Childhood's End (2015)
Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King (2004)
Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars (2004)
Firestarter: Rekindled (2002)
Frank Herbert's Dune
Frank Herbert's Dune (2000)
Frank Herbert's Children of Dune
Frank Herbert's Children of Dune (2003)
The Triangle (2005)
The Lost Room
The Lost Room (2006)
Tin Man (2007)
The Phantom (2009)
Treasure Island (2012)
12 Monkeys (since 2015)
Channel Zero (since 2016)
Con Man (since 2017)
Cosplay Melee (since 2017)
The Expanse (since 2015)
Face Off (since 2011)
Game Face (since 2017)
Ghost Wars (since 2017)
Happy! (since 2017)
Killjoys (since 2015)
Krypton (since 2018)
The Magicians (since 2015)
Paranormal Witness (since 2011)
Superstition (since 2017)
Van Helsing (since 2016)
Wynonna Earp (since 2016)
Nation (since 2014)
The Purge (TBA)
Camera Ready (TBA)
A subsidiary of Comcast
Board of Directors
Steve Burke (CEO)
Brian L. Roberts
Jeffrey R. Immelt
Amblin Partners[nu 1]
Back Lot Music
Big Idea Entertainment
Oriental DreamWorks[nu 2]
DreamWorks New Media
Illumination Mac Guff
NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan
United International Pictures[nu 4]
Universal Animation Studios
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Working Title Films
Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Studios Florida
Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Singapore
Universal Studios Beijing
Universal Cable Productions
Craftsy (major stake)
Puerto Rico Studios
Telemundo TV Studios
NBC Sports Group
NBC Sports Group
NBC Sports Ventures
NBC Sports Digital
Bay Area (45%)
The Weather Channel[nu 6]
NBC global channels
NBC Africa (licensee)
NBC Latin America
NBC Europe branches
NBC Africa (licensee)
NBC Asia branches
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13th Street Universal
Bravo New Zealand
DreamWorks Animation Television
Stamford Media Center
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
WBTS-LD & WYCN-CD
WVIT Other properties:
New England Cable News
WZDC-CD[nu 10] Other properties:
International Media Distribution
Harvey Films/Harvey Comics
Miss Universe[nu 11]
NBC Weather Plus
Pacific Data Images
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Seagram Company Ltd.
United Productions of America
^ Co-owned with The Amblin Group, Participant Media, Reliance
Entertainment One and Alibaba Pictures.
^ Co-owned with China Media Capital,
Shanghai Media Group
Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai
^ Co-owned with
Hearst Communications and Verizon Communications.
^ 50%, with Viacom's Paramount Pictures.
^ Co-owned with 21st Century Fox,
The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company and Time
^ Co-owned with
The Blackstone Group
The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital.
^ Co-owned with Media Globe Networks and European public broadcasters.
^ Co-owned with Mediaset.
^ The station is owned by NBCUniversal, but is controlled by Serestar
^ a b Operated by
NBCUniversal under a local marketing agreement.
^ Co-owned with
The Trump Organization
The Trump Organization before September 2015 sale to
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Fox Soccer PlusP
MLB Extra InningsO
MLB Strike ZoneP
MLS Direct KickO
NBA League PassO
NFL Sunday TicketO
NHL Center IceO
The Cowboy Channel
Frost Great Outdoors
World Fishing Network
Eleven Sports Network
ACC Network (Raycom Sports)
CBS Sports HQ
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Video on demand
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Fox Sports Networks
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