SCI FI Channel is changing its name

After nineteen years on the air, the SCI FI Channel in the U.S. is changing its name.

After nearly 17 years on the air, SCI FI Channel in the United States is changing its name. So what will the new moniker be? What word will help it stand out in the competitive cable market, as a channel that is about more than space ships and time travel? Is it something to do with “Imagination?” Or “Fantasy?” Or “Possibility?”

Nope. The channel is rebranding itself as: Syfy Channel.

The New York Times reports that the network will roll out its new name in its advertiser upfronts tomorrow, and officially make the switch on July 7.

Gone too is the Saturn logo. New is the tagline “Imagine Greater.”

The network’s genre-leading Web site,, will also make the switch.

The main reason for the change, according to Bonnie Hammer, former head of the network and now president of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions, and her successor David Howe, is that the name “SCI FI” was too limiting.

“If you ask people their default perceptions of Sci Fi, they list space, aliens and the future,” Howe said. “That didn’t capture the full landscape of fantasy entertainment: the paranormal, the supernatural, action and adventure, superheroes” — areas of programming that have becoming increasingly important as the network has found ratings success with shows like Ghost Hunters, ECW: Extreme Championship Wrestling, and Destination Truth.

But network chiefs hope that keeping the phonetically altered “Syfy” will also help them keep the fanboys and girls who are looking for traditional science fiction.

SCI FI had 95.2 million subscriber households and an estimated ad revenue of $423.9 million in 2008, according to media research company SNL Kagan, the Times said.

Science fiction news site SyFy Portal recently rebranded itself as Airlock Alpha, possibly a precursor to the network’s acquisition of the “Syfy” name. The change does allow the network to own the copyright on its own name — which it couldn’t do with a word as generic and widely used as “sci-fi.”

“We couldn’t own Sci Fi; it’s a genre,” Hammer said. “But we can own Syfy.”

“If I were texting, this is how I would spell it,” Howe said.

(Thanks to Mike and Morjana for the tip!)

NEXT: Read the network’s press release on Page 2

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I guess this is a good thing since, as the article mentions, SciFi has been moving further and further away from actual science fiction and related genres and into “sports entertainment” and BS reality shows.

Kate Carter

I agree. Personally, the only reason I’ve watched that channel at all is because of Stargate. I can’t stand it otherwise. They’re all idiots anyway, as evidenced by their cancellation of Atlantis when it could have gone on for years just fine.

Minnesota Fan

As if changing their name is going to get more people to watch it. They haven’t been sci fi for a while now. They have become just another station. Nothing special. I find myself watching better made shows on other stations. Still missing Stargate..thank goodness for dvds.


I agree, jeffala. What this represents to me quite clearly is that Sci Fi (SyFy) is distancing itself from the science fiction and fantasy genres with which it made its name and are its heritage. I am deeply disappointed. This move is no doubt to align with the transition of their content away from high-quality, thought-provoking futuristic drama and toward mindless fare like “pro” wrestling and the paranormal “reality” shows. I suppose I should be glad that the word part “sci” and the Saturn symbol will no longer have to be embarrassed by being superimposed on the same. Mindless and… Read more »


Sci-Fi to SyFy? What’s that line… ‘A rose by any other name etc.’. The change is a much of a muchness. Sci-Fi or SyFy… really no change at all.

Their tagline is, of course, idiotic. “Imagine Greater”. Imagine greater what, exactly?



Haha, that is really stupid.


Pfft. Hahha. I was expecting something more…well, creative? I mean, this Howe person said “If I were texting, this is how I would spell it”

From that you can tell that they’re trying to aim the network at younger people.

I am one of those younger people…but…I still find a name like “SyFy” really stupid.

They’re a bunch of idiots – cancelling a bunch of good shows. Changing the name doesn’t solve anything.


I suppose the name “Sci Fi” could be considered “limiting,” in that it might actually cause the average viewer to expect you to broadcast, oh, I don’t know… science fiction? o.O


heh.. ooookay, interesting. Maybe that will help them justify airing wrestling shows. Where does that fit in the “ full landscape of fantasy entertainment: the paranormal, the supernatural, action and adventure, superheroes”. Hmm.. do they consider wrestlers to be superheros? *ugh* Oh well, I only watched Scifi for Stargate and while I’ll be giving SGU a chance, I dont expect the honeymoon to last. ;) So, I guess it doesn’t really matter to me. ;)


So if “SyFy” eventually moves completely away from it’s roots, is there any other network that primarily plays science fiction?


SyFy? Is that a bad joke? Fyyyyy!


Wow, what a dumb idea. It was fine the way it was. Anyway, like a lot of other people here, the only thing I will ever watch on Sci-Fi channel is Stargate. I really wish MGM could have found another channel after the whole SG-1 cancellation, we’re gonna take our ball and go home debacle. It was rediculous how much power sci-fi exerts over the shows it had. The sudden cancellation of Farscape, then SG-1. Part of the reason MGM canceled Atlantis is possibly so they could end it on their own terms for once instead of at the whim… Read more »


lol. how lame


SyFy: Sci-Fi for people who can’t spell.


woah! They’re changing their name from Sci-Fi, to SyFy! Huge change


Well I suppose it’s no longer skiffy


Syfy? Whaha. I laught myself almost dead when I read that. Just keep it Sci-fi, or come up with another name. Syfy is the same as Sci-fi only now you write it like you say it.


—–Science fiction news site SyFy Portal recently rebranded itself as Airlock Alpha, possibly a precursor to the network’s acquisition of the “Syfy” name. The change does allow the network to own the copyright on its own name — which it couldn’t do with a word as generic and widely used as “sci-fi.”—-

How interesting. I bet SyFy Portal squeeze some money from Sci_Fi Channel, in return for changin’ name.


This whole change reminds me on UPN, which alco changed name and forsaken Star Trek franchice, franchise on which they built their crappy network (especially with Voyager).

Puddle Splasher

It’s not just Sci-Fi anymore, it’s…. SyFy-ish!

My vote for a new SyFy planet logo would be “dwarf planet asteroid #134340” (look it up).

Forget “Imagine Greater”. Poor tagline.That’s like the hero telling the villian holding a hostage over a cliff, “Let her go”.

Maybe we should all do the heroic thing and go imagine something greater, elsewhere.

Who is with on starting our own Sci-Fi cable channel?. Long live the Public Access channel!!!


What a rubbish name. Seriously have ever thought that the reason people do not their pathetic little channel is because apart from SGA and SGC is that content is rather dull when compared to other cable channels. Plus the way they split there content up is just terrible, six months almost for eps of BSG and Eureka its just sums up what wrong with the channel.

Orion Coran

Well, looks like forshadowing to come…Can you say more “Fakeality” and wrestling. -_- I hope this doesn’t affect future shows Caprica, SGU, etc..


looks like some on over at the onion got on board of directors.


I’ve always known the Sci-Fi Channel head honchos were idiots. This just proves my case.


Here’s my comment on Sci Fi Wire: Dear Sci Fi Channel (I REFUSE to acknowledge the incredibly lame new name and tag-line – it’s almost as bad my city’s tag-line – “Cleveland Plus…”), I think it’s time to fire your executives, your advertising agency, and most of your staff. This is about the most ridiculous thing I’ve EVER seen. Do you not realize how STUPID this new “wonderful” concept of your is?! Where in hell do you pick up these people and absolutely horrible ideas? I mean, seriously, these people WAY overpaid for their degrees!! Please leave the name the… Read more »


Dear SeeFee channel, That is retarded.

Muffit the daggit

I miss the old days already. MTV played music videos, comedy meant funny, SciFi wasn’t wrestling (though I see the connection), Soon there won’t be any cartoons on Toon and I’ll have to go to the theater to see HBO. I mentioned that SciFi wasn’t about wrestling right?


syfy… sounds like a failed name for a new prescription drug

Warning: Syfy make cause Drowsiness, Irritation, Increased anger, and the uncontrollable urge to throw a TV out of a window.


Friday night watching BSG with friends we were mourning as we looked at the next day’s listings… “WTF ‘Snakehead Terror AGAIN?” and “wouldn’t it be cool if they ran some of the classic SF like they did when the channel started?” and “Have they EVER rerun the SF channel miniseries version of DUNE? It was great!” There are other channels doing the horror/terror thing, other channels doing the reality/game stuff, other channels doing… Scifi is a Genre that really has an audience when the genre gets some respect. (BSG for example, or the various StarGate incarnations, or even STAR trek… Read more »


Sy – Fy -Fo -Fum
I smell the fear of an executive.

I want Sci Fi and by that, I mean science fiction – not paranormal ghost hunters, monster of the week movies or wrestling.

You can’t have it all, SyFy (how insulting is that name?). You are losing your most loyal viewers.


Wow, who’s the idiot that came up with that?
oh, and I’m changing my name from sean to shawn

Cafe 5

With the changing of it name we can look forward to many more reality shows with the whispered words…what was that?….did you hear that? lets get out of here…followed by its $1.98 in house movies. As viewers we sure have a great deal to look forward too. I’m glad Stargate will be around in some form, either in reruns or SGU. Oh well there’s always wrestling.


I think I just threw up a little.


AMEN! @ ulic1234 I’ve screamed many of your comments in my head and heart for some time now.
And posted a few at I thought Bonnie Hammond and her cronies were fired long ago, then again, that was probably just wishful thinking on my part!


You are quoting an Onion AV article as news?


IDIOTS! They just don’t get it. Never have!


LOL @acmunson.

It does reek of a parody by “The Onion”.


Clearly the network executives don’t understand that it’s the well-educated geeks with disposable income that watch their channel and buy entire seasons of their hit shows on DVD. Without the “geeks and aliens” there would not have been 15+ seasons of the Stargate franchise.


You guys should see the screaming, wailing, yelling, and complaining going on at the article on Sci Fi Wire (or will it now be SyFy Wire?):

Totally awesome. Think Sci Fi Channel will listen? I don’t.


Why don’t they just give up and change the name to “We’re Boring”?
Oh, wait… Forgot that NBC already nabbed that one.


I concur 100% with ulic1234 comments. Clearly the Executives at ‘SYFY’ dont have a clear understanding of what their viewers want to see. My contention is: The survival of shows should be viewer lead. The only way to do that is to run online voting polls on what we are watching.. Its easy enough to organize a simple list and clickable counters. with all the past and present SiFi shows and its done, Great shows like Farscape, BSG, StarGate, etc. Let the voting show them what we want…Come on GateWorld surly you could organize something.

The Creeping Spleen

This is, quite possibly, the stupidest thing I’ve heard this year so far.
It’s an April Fools gag, right?


Asinine – I rarely watch any more. For me, SciFi went from “must-see” to “must not waste my time.”


SyFy — sounds like an abbreviation for Syphilis. Especially since a text to reader pronounces it “siffy”. I think it fits with their programming these days.

When BSG is over, I won’t have any reason at all to watch that channel, so they can call it whatever they want. I’ve been pissed at them since they cancelled Farscape.


I agree that the SciFi channel has had little to do with science fiction for some time now, but the new name – a supposedly phonetic version of the the original name, is just further evidence of the dumbing-down of society.


A lot of people feel very strongly about Sci-Fi and not all of it favourable.
Changing the name allowed it to be registered, which was probably the most reasonable, but changing it so it texts better and spells by ear is kinda “dumbing it down” as you put it Stillwaters. A product of today’s times. Soon no one will be able to spell anything correctly.
Back on topic – curiously all the science fiction programmes(how we spell it, program is software)I watch, fantastic Stargates included are not on this namechanging channel anyway. They’re all on SKY. Perhaps they are moving on.Hmmmm !

Kara Sheppard

Alright!!! Who put Kavanaugh in charge of this channel?!?! This sounds like one of his lame brain ideas!!!

I quote Jack Nickelson as The Joker…”That Channel needs an ennema!!”


Post script:
Another thought.
Execs keep shows going when…………..
They make money, right!.

If they don’t make money it’s because……
right again, no ones watching.

Ok lol, I like offering the other side of the coin sometimes..keeps things balanced.

I’m a fan of science fiction not the channel.
Who cares what they call it. We’ll stick with the channel that gives us what we want.


Lmao….I like that.
Probably trying to make it more user friendly.
Well I guess the users aint friendly anymore.


Let’s move even further from, you know, actual scifi *rolls eyes*