Syfy remains one of the most popular TV channels that really is a must-have even for people who aren’t regular viewers. Luckily for cord cutters, it is widely supported in the streaming industry. Read on to learn all your options.
In a hurry? All the major streaming services offer Syfy in their base plans. Here are the best:
- Hulu + Live TV: Now with Disney+, this is our choice for best overall entertainment service.
- Sling TV: Get 40+ channels including Syfy for just $35/mo. Save 50% on your first month of Sling TV.
- FuboTV: If you like a lot of sports with your Syfy, this 110+ channel plan is the way to go. FuboTV allows you to try out its service free for 7 days.
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Let’s be honest: Syfy disappoints its fans a lot. Whether it’s the notorious “five-year wall” (shows have a tendency to be canceled at five years, if they make it that far), channel drift into reality programming (yes, Ghost Hunters, we’re looking at you), or the incredible schlockfests that are Syfy’s original movies (Exhibit A: poster-beast Sharknado), Syfy has a habit of repeatedly lowering the bar.
What keeps those fans coming back is that, much like the unlikely heroes of so many of its stories, Syfy never gives up or stops trying — and often, they succeed. Recent hits such as Chucky, Resident Alien, and Astrid & Lilly Save the World are reminding fans everywhere that, hey, Syfy’s still got it.
What Is Syfy
Syfy was launched as the Sci-Fi Channel in 1992, with no lesser luminaries than Gene “Star Trek” Roddenberry and legendary science fiction author Isaac Asimov among its initial advisory board members.
The network infamously rebranded itself in 2009 as “Syfy,” to near-universal derision, and it didn’t help that this rebranding coincided with an increase in non-scifi/fantasy/horror content on the channel, most prominently reality shows like Cha$e, Destination Truth, Estate of Panic, Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files, and Ghost Hunters.
Syfy tries (with more or less success over the years) to position itself as a home for the various fandoms of things geeky, supernatural, futuristic, magical, dystopian, apocalyptic, super-powered, extraterrestrial, or otherwise other-worldly. They have somewhat broadened their scope beyond strictly science fiction to include some genres that fit well (urban fantasy, anime) and others that may not (real-life ghost hunting, professional wrestling).
Syfy is owned by NBCUniversal, and shares some creative departments and shows with sister-channel USA. Other science fiction-focused channels are:
- Comet TV: An over-the-air/digital channel broadcast by Sinclair
- Dust: A channel for showcasing the sci-fi/fantasy works of indie studio Gunpowder & Sky
- OuterMax: One of Cinemax’s multiplexed sub-channels, which features science fiction films.
Syfy shows cover the full range of science fiction, horror, and fantasy genres, with some superheroes and paranormal tossed in. Outer space is a frequent setting, but top-secret locations and government-run laboratories are featured as well.
With plots revolving around time travel, conspiracy theories, aliens, wormholes, the Wild West, or a secret magical higher learning institution (or some combination), these shows all found loyal followings and enjoyed moderate to high success on the network:
- 12 Monkeys
- Astrid & Lilly Save the World
- Battlestar Galactica (2004)
- Channel Zero
- Dark Matter
- The Expanse
- Ghost Hunters
- The Magicians
- Resident Alien
- Stargate SG-1
- Warehouse 13
- Wynonna Earp
And yeah, they run some WWE on occasion.
You used to need cable to watch Syfy, but now all you need is an internet connection and a screen that can connect to it. Live TV streaming services use month-to-month plans with no long-term commitments and more.
All the major streaming services carry Syfy except Philo and Vidgo, which don’t carry any NBCUniversal channels. Details below!
Hulu + Live TV
Between the Hulu on-demand library, Disney+, and ESPN+, Hulu + Live TV has enough content to keep the whole family busy when there’s nothing good on the live channels. Not that that’s likely to happen often though, with over 85 channels in the base package, including Syfy, all your networks, and all of Syfy’s NBCU sibs. Check out Hulu Live for $69.99/mo.
Sling TV offers you the flexibility to put together your own package. If you love Syfy, you’ll want to sign up for Sling Blue, the $35/mo base plan that includes NBCUniversal channels (in addition to Syfy you get Bravo, Oxygen, USA, E!, MSNBC, and CNBC, plus Sinclair’s Comet).
You could stop there, but you should check out its amazing selection of a la carte premium channels — there’s several horror channels, plus CONtv, which features Comic Con panels and other fandom-related stuff.
Sling Blue comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR storage and simultaneous streaming on up to three devices. Get more information, in our Sling TV review.
DIRECTV STREAM has more of the top channels most people want. Their base Entertainment Package is $69.99/mo and includes Syfy, as well as all your local network stations and sister-stations USA, Bravo, E!, MSNBC, and CNBC.
You also get unlimited DVR storage and you can stream on up to 20 screens in your home and three when away. Read more in our DIRECTV STREAM review.
FuboTV’s passion is for soccer, and its whole reason for being is to bring international soccer to you. Its Starter plan for $69.99/mo has over 110 channels, including Syfy, most of the other NBCU channels, all your local stations, and Comet. This plan comes with 1000 hours of cloud DVR storage and streaming on ten devices at once.
If you want to check out Dust, though, you’ll have to spring for either the Fubo Extra add-on ($7.99/mo) or upgrade to the Elite plan ($79.99/mo), which also comes with upgraded DVR storage and a higher simultaneous device limit.
See our FuboTV review for more information.
Other Ways to Stream Syfy
There are other ways to stream Syfy — the channel or just some of its shows:
- YouTube TV: Has 85+ channels for $64.99/mo. It carries Syfy at the moment, but YTTV almost lost all their NBCUniversal channels in a carriage dispute in 2021, one of three that year. So be aware that your fave channels could be held hostage the next time contracts are up.
- Peacock: NBCU’s own streaming on-demand service is the only one of the network-specific services to offer a free tier. You can find shows from Syfy, NBC, USA, Bravo, and more, as well as some acquired content licensed from other channels like A&E. It’s also the place to go whenever the Olympics are happening. See our Peacock review for details.
- Hulu: Unfortunately, Disney-owned Hulu doesn’t have much from Syfy anymore. 13 Monkeys is the only program on the Syfy network page on Hulu, and NBCU is likely reserving Syfy shows for Peacock in the future. Our Hulu review has more.
- Amazon: Amazon has some Syfy series and movies on Prime Video. For example, it has the horror-themed Hallmark-style film Santa Jaws. But it doesn’t have a Prime Video Channel dedicated to Syfy content.
TVs and Mobile Devices to Live Stream Syfy
You can use a diverse range of devices to stream Syfy. Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, DIRECTV STREAM, and FuboTV, all support the following devices:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android mobile devices
- Apple TV
- Google Chromecast
- iOS devices (iPhone, iPad)
- Samsung Smart TVs
- Web browsers.
Note that as a last resort, you can stream on a laptop and connect to your TV with HDMI connections. This is the old-fashioned way of doing what casting does wirelessly.
Other than DIRECTV STREAM, all the services support Android TV compatible (eg, Sony) TVs as well as LG and VIZIO smart TVs and the Xbox gaming system.
FuboTV supports Hisense smart TVs. Hulu + Live TV lets you stream on PlayStation and Nintendo Switch units. And Sling TV supports the Oculus.
DIRECTV STREAM offers its own voice-activated streaming device. This can make the transition from cable easier since your entire streaming system is in one place.
So whether you come for Piranhaconda and Sharktopus (no, I’m not making those up) and stay for funny, smart shows like Resident Alien, or vice versa, you don’t have to rely on cable to get your scif/fantasy fix. Sign up for one of the streaming services above, and jettison that cable bill today!
What’s the deal with Syfy Original films?
Syfy’s original movies were originally pioneered back in 2001 by one Thomas P Vitale, the Executive Vice President of Programming & Original Movies for Syfy (and the since-retired network Chiller). They are the epitome of scifi “B-movies”: low budget, campy, cheesy, outlandish premises, and has-been actors starring.
Fans tend to be polarized, either loving them for the magnificently perfect “things” they are, or hating them as a symbol of everything wrong with Syfy. A short list of Syfy originals should help illustrate the type of film we’re talking about here (and, again, I swear, I am not making any of these up):
- 2-Headed Shark Attack
- 3-Headed Shark Attack
- 5-Headed Shark Attack
- 6-Headed Shark Attack
- Airplane vs. Volcano
- Big Ass Spider!
- Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys
- Chupacabra vs. The Alamo
- Dinocroc vs. Supergator
- Fire Twister
- Locusts: The 8th Plague
- Nazis at the Center of the Earth
- Planet Of The Sharks
- Wraiths of Roanoke
- Zombie Tidal Wave
Editor’s note: Man with the Screaming Brain will one day be seen as the work of Wellesian-level genius that it is. -FM
What other NBCUniversal channels are there?
NBCUniversal features various divisions which focus on different kinds of content. Here are its main English-language non-sports channels: