Syfy (UK and Ireland)

Syfy (formerly Sci Fi Channel) is a British pay television channel service specialising in science fiction, fantasy and horror shows and movies. It was launched in 1995 as a localised variant of the US network Sci Fi Channel (now Syfy), with a similar programming line-up. It is owned by NBCUniversal International Networks, a division of NBCUniversal.[1]

Launched1 October 1995 (1995-10-01)
Owned byNBCUniversal International Networks
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
Audience share0.18%
0.04% (+1) (April 2019 (2019-04), BARB)
SloganIt´s a fan thing
CountryUnited Kingdom, Ireland
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom
Formerly calledSci Fi Channel (1995-2010)
Sister channel(s)CNBC Europe
Universal TV
Movies 24
Timeshift serviceSyfy +1
SkyChannel 114 (HD)
Channel 214 (+1)
Channel 814 (SD)
Astra 2E
11836 H 27500 5/6
11836 H 27500 5/6 (+1)
Astra 2F
12304 H 27500 2/3 (HD)
Virgin MediaChannel 137 (HD)
Channel 138
Channel 229 (+1)
Virgin Media IrelandChannel 129 (SD)
Channel 179 (HD)
WightFibreChannel 39
TalkTalk TVChannel 319
FreewireChannel 152
BTChannel 319 (SD)
Channel 375 (HD)
PlusnetChannel 319 (SD)
Channel 375 (HD)
EirChannel 114
Streaming media
Sky GoWatch live (UK and Ireland only)
Now TVWatch live (UK and Ireland only)
Virgin TV AnywhereWatch live (UK only)

On 13 April 2010, Sci Fi Channel was relaunched as Syfy, as part of an ongoing global rebranding.[2] The relaunch was accompanied by the premieres of V and Human Target. The channel was given a new on-air look and a tagline of Imagine greater.


Programming in the channel's early years followed the US channel's model, then consisting largely of archive shows such as Lost in Space, The Incredible Hulk, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and films from the Paramount and MCA vaults. The channel was also notable for being one of the first UK television channels to show anime movies and television series on a regular basis. These programming choices were supplemented by a few 1980s animated series shown in the mornings such as Robotech, Bionic Six and G-Force, although they were dropped as the channel's lineup became more independent of the original US channel.

Currently, most archive and anime programming have been phased out of the channel, which now concentrates on contemporary show, movies, and other programming. One original UK production was the late-night show Headf**k, which featured excerpts from unusual TV shows, short films (including Chris Barfoot's 'Phoenix' and 'The Reckoning') and music videos from around the world. Later episodes were presented by David Icke.

Programmes on the channel throughout more recent times have included UK premieres of big name US shows like Heroes, Flash Gordon, Eureka, and more recently Knight Rider, Legend of the Seeker and Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. Also shown as of February 2007 are digitally remastered episodes of Star Trek (not to be confused with the remastered series with new CGI); in October the channel secured an exclusive deal with CBS to air Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, remastered from original film elements to current HD standards with new HD CGI sequences, and as of November 2012 have been broadcasting them in (mostly) chronological order.[3][4][5]

Viewership and reach

As of April 2008, the channel reached an average of three million UK and Ireland households a week, appealing equally to male and female demographics.

Initially, the channel shared its analogue satellite transponder with no less than five other channels, limiting its output to early evenings and late nights with the rest of its continuous daytime programming (including cartoons) restricted to cable customers. With the launch of Sky Digital in the UK the channel eventually expanded to exclusive broadcasting on its own channel and now broadcasts round the clock most days each week.

Most watched programmes

The following is a list of the ten most watched shows on Syfy (previously Sci-Fi), based on Live +7 data supplied by BARB up to 10 September 2017.[6] The number of viewers does not include viewers from Ireland, repeats or airings on Syfy +1.

Rank Show Episode Number of Viewers Date
1Heroes1.01 - Genesis579,00019 February 2007
2V2.09 - Devil in a Blue Dress549,00019 May 2011
3Heroes1.19 - .07%529,00018 June 2007
4Heroes1.05 - Hiros523,00012 March 2007
5Heroes1.03 - One Giant Leap512,00026 February 2007
6Heroes1.06 - Better Halves509,00019 March 2007
7The Librarians1.01 - And the Crown of King Arthur503,0008 December 2014
8Heroes1.04 - Collison502,0005 March 2007
9Heroes1.02 - Don't Look Back494,00019 February 2007
10Knight Rider1.01 - A Knight in Shining Armor490,00019 May 2009

HD feed

A high-definition simulcast channel was launched on the Sky+ HD service as the 31st high-definition channel on Sky. A range of high definition movies, including Sci Fi Channel original production Ba'al: The Storm God, aired on the channel along with Eli Stone, Tin Man and Sanctuary.

It was added to Virgin Media on 1 April 2010.[7]

See also


  1. "Universal Networks International". NBCUniversal. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  2. Tryhorn, Chris (19 February 2010). "Sci Fi channel to rebrand in April". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  3. Farber, Alex (17 October 2012). "Syfy first to beam Star Trek in HD". Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  4. Munn, Patrick (3 October 2012). "Syfy UK Acquires Rights To 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'". Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  5. "Star Trek Syfy UK To Air TNG in HD". 17 October 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  6. BARB, via
  7. "SCI FI HD to be beamed up to Virgin TV viewers". Virgin Media. 15 March 2010. Archived from the original on 12 April 2013.
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