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SyFy Wire

LaunchedSeptember 24, 1992; 30 years ago (1992-09-24)
FounderMitchell Rubenstein
Laurie Silvers
Former names
  • Sci-Fi Channel (1992–99)
  • Sci Fi (1999–2009)
WebcastWatch live (U.S. pay-TV subscribers only)
Streaming media
Streaming ServicesfuboTV, YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, DirecTV Stream
(requires subscription to access content)
  • ch. 105

Syfy (a

basic cable channel owned by the NBCUniversal Television and Streaming division and business segment of Comcast's NBCUniversal.[1] Launched on September 24, 1992, the channel broadcasts programming relating to the science fiction, horror, and fantasy

As of January 2016, Syfy is available to 92.4 million households in America.[2]


In 1989, in

Hayden Planetarium in Manhattan. Asimov's widow Janet and Roddenberry's widow Majel Barrett were both in attendance.[6] The first program shown on the network was the film Star Wars.[7]

In 1994, Paramount was sold to

Studios USA. Three years later, Diller would sell Studios USA 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 Electric's NBC to form NBC Universal in 2004. In 2010, Comcast purchased Syfy's parent company NBCUniversal.[citation needed
] Comcast was one of the original cable TV operators to carry the channel.

A high definition version of the channel launched on October 3, 2007, on DirecTV.[9] In 2013, Syfy was given the James Randi Educational Foundation's Pigasus Award for what was described as questionable reality programming involving paranormal subjects.[10]

Branding history

From 1992 to 1999, the network's first logo consisted of a planet with a ring, made to look like

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.[12][13]

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 brand to an unnamed company in February 2009.[14]

The name change was greeted with initial negativity,[15][16] with people deliberately mispronouncing "Syfy" as /ˈsɪfi/ SIF-ee or /ˈsfi/ SEE-fee to make fun of the name change. The parody news anchor 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'".[17][non-primary source needed] The new name took effect on July 7, 2009.[18] Syfy has since added reality shows and edged further from strictly science fiction, fantasy and horror programming.[19][20][21]

The rebranding efforts at NBC Universal's

CBS Studios International and Sony Pictures Television; after the channel shut down in 2013, NBCUniversal launched a local version of Syfy in 2014.[23][24]

On May 11, 2017, in honor of the network's upcoming 25th anniversary, Syfy unveiled a major rebranding that took effect on-air June 19. The new branding was intended to re-position the channel back towards targeting fans of the fantasy and sci-fi genres. Network head Chris McCumber explained that the network's goal was to "put fans at the center of everything we do", and explained a stacked, square-shaped form of the logo as being akin to a "badge". 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.[25][26][27]


Syfy's original programming includes

Syfy has been used for overflow sports and sports entertainment programming from its sister networks. It has participated in NBC Sports' "Championship Sunday" effort to broadcast all matches on the final matchday of the Premier League soccer season across NBCUniversal cable networks.[32] In February 2022, WWE Raw and NXT aired on Syfy for two weeks due to USA Network's broadcasts of the 2022 Winter Olympics.[33]


During its early years, Syfy aired

Chiller.[36] Syfy's anime block was later moved to Thursday nights, starting March 14, 2011, where it remained until all anime programming was dropped on June 9, 2011.[37][38]

On April 20, 2019, Syfy launched a new late night adult animation block called TZGZ which aired until March 13, 2021.[citation needed]

In October 2020, Syfy aired Monster House as part of their 31 Days of Halloween event.[citation needed]

Syfy original films

Sci Fi Pictures original films are independently-made

Coalition for Freedom of Information.[40]


Websites and divisions and

Syfy's website launched in 1995, at, under the name "The Dominion"; it dropped the name in 2000.[

Webby Award
and a Flash Forward Award.

From 2000 to 2005, published original science fiction

Science Fiction Writers of America's Nebula Awards, including the first for original online fiction (for Linda Nagata's novella "Goddesses").[41][42]

On April 22, 2006, the site launched Sci Fi Pedia, a commercial

UFOs, genre-related art and audio, and the paranormal.[43]
In 2009, Sci Fi Pedia was shut down without explanation.

As part of the channel's rebranding in 2009, the URL was changed to As of 2010, began to contain webisode series including Riese: Kingdom Falling (as of October 26, 2010),[citation needed] The Mercury Men (as of July 25, 2011),[citation needed] and Nuclear Family[44] (as of October 15, 2012).

SyfyGames 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 2010, Syfy Games signed a deal with the now defunct publisher THQ to co-produce De Blob 2. Syfy Games would also co-produce Red Faction: Armageddon.

Syfy Wire

Syfy Wire (formerly Sci-Fi Wire and Blastr) is a website operated by Syfy featuring coverage of news in the science fiction, horror, and fantasy genres.[25] The site was rebranded in 2010 as Blastr, with the addition of feature articles, guest columnists (such as Phil Plait), popular science news and coverage, and video content.[46] In December 2016, Blastr rebranded as Syfy Wire; editor-in-chief Adam Swiderski stated that this change was to closer associate the website with the Syfy television channel.[47]

As of March 2018, Syfy Wire releases five regular podcasts,

Leland Chee[49] and Mike Daniels of the Green Bay Packers.[50]


Science Fiction Weekly

Science Fiction Weekly was an online magazine started on August 15, 1995, and edited by Craig Engler and Brooks Peck.[citation needed] 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.[51] 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 needed]

See also


  1. ^ Lieberman, David (March 19, 2013). "Comcast Completes Acquisition Of GE's 49% Stake In NBCUniversal". Deadline Hollywood.
  2. ^ "Cable Network Coverage Area Household Universe Estimates: January 2016".
  3. ^ Carter, Bill (September 28, 1992). "Will There Be Any Space For Outer Space on Cable?". The New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  4. ^ Carter, Bill (March 31, 1992). "Television Notes; NBC Tries Again With a News-Magazine Format". The New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  5. ^ Himna, Catherine. "Sci-fi Channel Picks Disney As Home Port". Orlando Sentinel.
  6. ^ a b Rubenstein, Mitchell (March 22, 2009). "Syfy, Say It's Not So!". Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  7. ^ Daniel Cerone (September 5, 1992). "Sci-Fi Channel on the Launching Pad : Television: The channel begins Sept. 24 with a presentation of 'Star Wars.' No cable systems in Southern California have signed up". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  8. The Free Library
    . April 9, 1995. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
  9. ^ Swann, Phillip (October 3, 2007). "DirecTV Adds Six HD Channels". Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  10. ^ "JREF's Pigasus Awards "Honors" Dubious Peddlers of "Woo"". James Randi Educational Foundation. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  11. New York Daily News
    . Retrieved November 3, 2012.
  12. ^ "SCI FI Channel Re-Positions Itself as "The Channel of Imagination"". Free Online Library. December 17, 2002. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
  13. ^ Mirkin, Steve (August 31, 2003). "The Minds Behind SCI FI Channel's New Look". Animation World Network. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
  14. ^ Hinman, Michael (March 15, 2009). "SciFi Channel Changes Name ... To Syfy". Airlock Alpha. Archived from the original on August 6, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  15. Advertising Age
    . Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  16. ^ Schneider, Michael (March 20, 2009). "TV rebranding a tricky proposition". Variety. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  17. ^ "Tip/Wag - Mississippi, Talk Shows, SyFy". March 18, 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
  18. ^ Elliot, Stuart (March 15, 2009). "Sci Fi Channel Has a New Name: Now, It's Syfy". The New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  19. ^ Syfy is Turning Into VH1: More Reality TV and Tracy Morgan, io9, March 18, 2010
  20. ^ Syfy Announces New Programming for 2010-2011, The Flick Cast, March 19, 2010
  21. ^ Syfy Channel 2010: More Reality, More Games, Inside TV, March 23, 2010
  22. ^ SCI FI president Dave Howe answers your SYFY questions, SYFY Wire, July 5, 2015
  23. ^ "Mediaweek Australia – News – TV1 to disappear from Foxtel platform". Media Week. August 16, 2013. Archived from the original on August 23, 2013. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  24. ^ Knox, David (September 30, 2013). "Syfy to launch on Foxtel". TV Tonight. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  25. ^ a b Liptak, Andrew (May 11, 2017). "The Syfy channel is rebooting with a new focus on science fiction fandom". The Verge. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  26. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 11, 2017). "Syfy Gets New Look & Logo, Expands News Division Ahead of 25th Anniversary". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  27. ^ Lafayette, Jon (May 11, 2017). "Syfy Gets Makeover as It Marks 25th Anniversary". MultiChannel News. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
  28. ^ Griffin McElroy. "WCG Ultimate Gamer reality show hits SciFi Channel March 10". Joystiq.
  29. ^ Stropoli, Rebecca (May 25, 2006). "Sci Fi Gets Itself in a Headlock". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  30. ^ "SmackDown" Goes Syfy, World Wrestling Entertainment, April 13, 2010
  31. ^ Marissa Payne (April 7, 2015). "WWE 'Smackdown' to air on USA Network starting in 2016". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  32. ^ "Non-soccer fans were pissed off that Premier League soccer was on every NBC network". Awful Announcing. May 13, 2018. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  33. ^ "MONDAY NIGHT RAW BUMPED TO SYFY FOR TWO WEEKS |". Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  34. ^ a b "Sci Fi Channel Launches Monday Night Anime Block". Anime News Network. May 5, 2007. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  35. ^ "America's Sci Fi Channel Adds Anime on Tuesdays". Anime News Network. January 3, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  36. ^ Beveridge, Chris (July 15, 2009). "Syfy, Chiller Take On More Anime". ManiaEntertainment. Archived from the original on July 18, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
  37. ^ "U.S. Syfy TV Channel Moves Anime to Thursdays in March". Anime News Network. February 23, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  38. ^ "U.S. SyFy Channel Lists No More Anime After June 9". Anime News Network. May 27, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  39. ^ Wolf, Gary (October 2004). "We've Created a Monster!". Wired. Vol. 12, no. 10. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  40. ^ "SCI FI Channel Challenges Government Secrecy". Coalition for Freedom of Information (Press release). October 22, 2002. Archived from the original on July 16, 2009. Retrieved October 7, 2009.
  41. ^ "SciFiction". Official site (Syfy/Sci Fi Channel). Archived from the original on August 31, 2005.
  42. ^ "Archive of SciFiction stories, May 15, 2000 - December 28, 2005". Archived from the original on June 15, 2006.
  43. ^ "Sci Fi Has Its Finger On The 'Pulse'" (Press release). The Futon Critic, Sci Fi Channel. April 26, 2006. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  44. ^ Danzis, Alan. "SyFy's Upcoming 'Nuclear Family' To Premiere First On Xbox LIVE". Retrieved October 28, 2012.
  45. ^ "Home for free to play sci-fi and fantasy games". Comcast. October 22, 2013.
  46. ^ Weprin, Alex (July 14, 2010). "Syfy Rebranding Sci Fi Wire as". Adweek. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  47. ^ Swiderski, Adam (December 19, 2016). "Welcome to Syfy Wire! Why we changed our name...and what's next". SyfyWire. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  48. ^ "Syfy Wire Podcasts". SyfyWire. Syfy. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  49. ^ Newbold, Mark (January 16, 2018). "Leland Chee interviewed on the Fandom Files podcast". Fantha Tracks. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  50. ^ "Morning sports update: Lawrence Guy runs an anime club in the Patriots locker room". March 20, 2018. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  51. ^ "Sci Fi's Craig Engler Promoted To SVP & GM, Sci Fi Digital". VFXWorld. March 13, 2009. Retrieved July 7, 2009.

External links