NBC Universal said it needed to undertake the move so that it could own a trademark on what it plans to develop into a strong global brand for science fiction and fantasy content on linear television channels and online. A new Syfy Ventures unit will push the brand into games, films and children's markets.
"While continuing to embrace our legacy and our core audience, we needed to cultivate a distinct point of view with a name that we could own that invites more people in and reflects our broader range of programming," said Sci Fi president Dave Howe. "Syfy allows us to build on our 16 year heritage of success with a new brand built on the power that fuels our genre: the Imagination. Syfy ushers in a new era of unlimited imagination, exceptional experiences and greater entertainment that paves the way for us to truly become a global lifestyle brand."
Two key shows will anchor the July rebrand, with an "aggressive" campaign planned to highlight the new name alongside the fourth season premiere of Eureka and the launch of Warehouse 13, a new dramedy created by Farscape's Rockne S. O'Bannon, Battlestar Galactica co-executive producer Jane Espenson and D. Brent Mote that follows the story of FBI agents investigating supernatural objects.
The new brand will be rolled out to Sci Fi's channels outside the US starting in the third quarter of the year.
"We are very excited to be part of the evolution of the Syfy Channel," said Roma Khanna, president of global networks and initiatives at NBC Universal. "This will establish a consistent global brand that is synonymous with world-class, imaginative content and represents unlimited mainstream content and platform growth potential for our business."