It’s about time: Sci Fi Channel to change, er, tweak name


So in case you haven’t heard yet or if you’re like me and are consistently the last person to hear about these kinds of things, then you’ll be interested to hear that the Sci Fi Channel is about to update it’s name. And that update? Well….
Ta Da! It’s still pronounced the same way, but this new funk-tastic spelling pays homage to the other half of the channel’s programming. Want my opinion on the matter*? I like it. Aw heck, throw me on the bandwagon with an official looking purple shirt – I love it! I’ve been hoping that something like this would happen for a little while now.
In recent years we’ve seen a heavier listing of regular science fiction shows, such as the all-world favorite Battlestar Galactica, the long running Stargate series, and my personal favorite show, Eureka. However, the channel has also been the home to many fun fantasy shows and original movies like Sanctuary, Dead Like Me (originally from Showtime), and Moonlight. And finally, lest you think I’m leaving it out, the Dr. Who franchise that skirts the boundaries of both science fiction and fantasy.
So yeah, I love the change. But what do you think? There’s plenty of time to sound off on it as the change won’t take place until July, according to the Syfy website (still found at Of course, that’s not going to stop me from being an early adapter of the new name. As far as I’m concerned, it’s Syfy from here on out. Slick rebranding, Syfy; I’m with ya all the way!
You can read the Syfy Channel’s official press release HERE.

*Did you not read the headline of this article?

  • David

    I think it’s silly. In a world where I get 15 different ESPN’s included in my BASIC cable package, I think they should have just added a new channel for Fantasy instead of changing the Sci-Fi channel.

  • Smiling Ted

    If you check out this article ( you’ll see the real reason behind the change: They’re ashamed of the term “science fiction.”
    “The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular,” said TV historian Tim Brooks, who helped launch Sci Fi Channel when he worked at USA Network.

  • Kyle M.

    Hmmm…I read the article and it’s interesting stuff, but ultimately fluff. They’re changing the spelling, not the phonetics. Sci Fi, Syfy, it’s all the same sounds.
    Now, I’m sure it DOES have to do with building a brand and owning that brand, even if it is as small a change as a couple letters, gives them more leeway in crafting the content they desire. Going back to spelling here, but just Sci Fi on promo materials, even with their graphics, comes preloaded with a definition and expectation towards content. Syfy has the flexibility to represent the creative content associated with the channel, be it science fiction, science fantasy, urban fantasy, traditional fantasy…whatever. It’s a fine distinction and it’s sure to be debated, but I think that’s got a lot to do with it.
    And let’s stop kidding ourselves, the channel has always been providing more than just science fiction, so I would argue that the change has been a long time coming.
    I REALLY think that believing that there is some type of scorn directed towards their viewers is lazy thinking. They are providing Sci Fi content and, if the amount of uproar is any indication, doing it pretty well and with quite a number of viewers. There’s a passion there and I’m pretty sure a number of employees at the Syfy channel would count themselves as fans of the genre.
    And, I wouldn’t be so fast to say that the words of a former employee of the Syfy Channel’s parent network (USA Network) are a definitive and accurate representation of the current channel. All that quote really says is that Tim Brooks believes that “the name Sci Fi has been…” not that the Syfy channel does.
    I love this channel, it provides a lot of the content that I watch on a regular basis, but I don’t see what the big darned deal is with everyone getting so upset. Relax and enjoy the shows.

  • Camille

    Stephen Colbert did a Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger about “The Nerd Network” and the insidious soft c last night. Funny stuff -check it out.—mississippi–talk-shows—scifi

  • ShirleyB

    Hilarious clip.

  • Smiling Ted

    “Lazy thinking”?
    When Dave Howe says “Sci Fi” isn’t as “human friendly” as a made-up word like Syfy, there’s no way you can spin that as a compliment to people who enjoy science fiction. It’s part of a mindset that Tim Brooks acknowledges: “We spent a lot of time in the ’90s trying to distance the network from science fiction, which is largely why it’s called Sci Fi…It’s somewhat cooler and better than the name ‘Science Fiction.’ But even the name Sci Fi is limiting.”
    The irony is that if Howe had just said “We are changing to Syfy because it is easier to defend as a trademark,” no one would have given it a second thought. And the one thing that HAS redefined the channel wasn’t running away from science fiction, it was running toward it, and embracing it – I’m talking about Battlestar Galactica, of course.
    That’s why attitude is so important – because as long as “science fiction” is a mark of shame, shows like Estate of Panic and Spring Break Shark Attack will outnumber shows like Battlestar Galactica.

Get the best stories in your inbox, weekly. Any sufficiently advanced newsletter technology is indistinguishable from magic.