Comet (TV network)

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Comet
Type Digital broadcast TV network (science fiction)
Country United States
Availability Nationwide, via OTA digital
(coverage: 72%),[1] website & OTT TV
Founded June 29, 2015; 2 years ago (2015-06-29)
Slogan Space Out
Headquarters Los Angeles, California
Owner
Key people
    • David Amy (vice chairman, Sinclair Broadcast Group)[3]
  • John Bryan
  • (president, MGM Domestic Television Distribution)
Launch date
October 31, 2015; 22 months ago (2015-10-31)[4]
Picture format
480i (SDTV, widescreen)
(downgraded to letterboxed 4:3 on some over-the-air affiliates)
Affiliates List of Comet affiliates
Official website
www.comettv.com

Comet is an American digital broadcast television network that is owned by the Sinclair Television Group subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcast Group and operated by the MGM Television division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[2] The network focuses on science fiction with some supernatural, horror, adventure and fantasy series and films, sourced mainly from the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film and television library.[5][4]

History

On June 29, 2015, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the Sinclair Broadcast Group's broadcasting and programming subsidiary Sinclair Television Group, Inc. announced the expected 4th quarter launch of the then-unnamed science fiction network.[6][7] Sinclair chief operating officer David Amy, in announcing the partnership, noted that MGM "has an extensive collection of science fiction films and television movies that appeal to a vast audience who will now be able to access that content through broadcast television". Sinclair tapped its television stations in many of the 79 markets where the company owned and/or operated a broadcasting property at the time of the announcement to serve as the network's initial charter affiliates.[2][8][9] On August 5, 2015, in its financial report for the second fiscal quarter, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that the new network would be named Comet.[10]

The network formally launched on October 31, 2015, with Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot.[4][11] The 1984 sci-fi/action film The Terminator and the 1979 sci-fi-themed James Bond film Moonraker were its premiere night programming.[12] In early March 2017, the network started OTT streaming as a Roku channel and on Apple TV.[13]

Programming

Comet draws from the extensive library of films and television programming owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and subsidiary United Artists, carrying more than 1,500 hours worth of sci-fi programming from the studio.[5][2][4]

The network's programming consists of content from science fiction and related genres, with a mix of theatrically released feature films and select off-network series from the 1960s to the 2000s (such as Stargate SG-1 and the 1990s revival of The Outer Limits).[14] This gives Comet a more distinctive format than that commonly found on other multicast networks such as MeTV, Antenna TV and Decades, which maintain a general entertainment programming format.[15]

Current programming

Science fiction

Program Year Notes
Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot (October 31, 2015–present) [11]
Men into Space [15]
Stargate SG-1 (November 2, 2015–2016; 2017-present) [6]
Movies
Program Year Notes
She (1982) 2016 [15]
The Twonky (1953)
Planet In Peril Movie Marathon (April 22, 2016) [16]
Invasion: Alien Attack Movie Marathon July 4, 2016 [15]
Mystery Science Theater 3000 September 2016-present acquisition[15]
Godzilla movie series

Other

Program Year Notes
3 Wide Life (October 31, 2015–present) E/I[11]
Origins
Ring of Honor Wrestling (December 2, 2015–July 1, 2017) [17]

Former programming

Program Year Notes
Dead Like Me (2016) [6]
Poltergeist: The Legacy
The Outer Limits (1963–1965 series) (May 1, 2016–2016) [15]
The Outer Limits (1995–2002 series) (November 2, 2015–2016) [14][15]
Stargate Atlantis 2016-2017 [15]
Stargate Universe April 2, 2016 – 2017

Business

Comet is the first national multicasting venture by Sinclair, which aimed to develop content for the 162 television stations it ran at the time (many of which are operated through management outsourcing agreements with stations that Sinclair owns outright). Following an earlier effort in 2011, with its acquisition of the Ring of Honor wrestling promotion, Sinclair launched the American Sports Network programming in 2014, and entered into a production investment and development deal with the Michael Eisner-owned Tornante Company on the day that Comet's then-upcoming launch was announced.[18]

The network operates in a similar fashion to a shared services agreement that is usually formed between two local TV stations, but in this case between a programmer-distributor and owner & station group.[2] The network is offered on barter basis with the network with nine minutes of ad and the affiliate with five per hour with the ability to revenue share if MGM sells the local portion of the ads on behalf of the station. The network does not rely on the rating system, as most diginets do, used direct-response commercials in determining viewership.[15]

Affiliates

In October 2015, for its debut, Comet had affiliation agreements with television stations covering 60% of the United States (or 150,891,489 households with at least one television set).[5] By July 2016, the network had grown to 72 markets covering 72% of U.S. TV households.[15]

Sinclair Broadcast Group initially planned to launch Comet on select television stations owned by the company (including those operated through outsourcing agreements with partner companies Deerfield Media and Cunningham Broadcasting).[5] The network also intended to seek carriage on the digital subchannels of television stations owned by other broadcasting companies.[5] Titan Broadcast Management and Tribune Broadcasting were the first outside of Sinclair operated stations to affiliate some of their stations with Comet.[12][19]

Due to its co-ownership by Sinclair, some of the group's stations (as well as others not run by Sinclair, Deerfield or Cunningham that are affiliated with the syndication service) may elect to pre-empt certain afternoon and/or evening programs within the national Comet schedule to carry telecasts from the Sinclair-owned American Sports Network. This capacity is currently utilized by Sinclair for many of its The CW and MyNetworkTV and other affiliated subchannels[20] as an alternate outlet to air events not being carried by the affiliate's main channel.

See also

  • Syfy – American cable and satellite network owned by NBCUniversal, featuring science fiction, fantasy, drama and horror programming.
  • Syfy Universal – international version of Syfy serving countries in Europe and Latin America.
  • Space – a similarly formatted cable and satellite channel in Canada, owned by Bell Media

References

  1. ^ Buckman, Adam (July 26, 2016). "Diginets Keep Growing, Despite Auction Cloud". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Kevin Eck (June 29, 2015). "Sinclair to Launch Network with MGM". TVSpy. Mediabistro Holdings. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  3. ^ Mirabella, Lorraine (November 11, 2016). "Sinclair Broadcast shuffles top management in second round of changes". Baltimore Sun. Baltimore Sun Media Group. Retrieved December 28, 2016. On Friday the company said Chief Operating Officer David Amy, who has served in that role and as executive vice president since 2014, will become vice chairman and oversee human resources, corporate marketing and the networks group. 
  4. ^ a b c d John Kiesewetter (October 12, 2015). "New Sci-Fi Comet Channel Lands Here Oct. 31". WVXU. Cincinnati Public Radio. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Kevin Downey (June 29, 2015). "MGM, Sinclair To Debut Sci-Fi Diginet". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c Paige Albiniak (June 29, 2015). "Sinclair, MGM Partner on New Sci-Fi Diginet". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Sinclair Broadcast Group And Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Partner On First Ever Science Fiction Multi-Channel Network". Sinclair Broadcast Group. PR Newswire. June 29, 2015. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  8. ^ Lorraine Mirabella (June 29, 2015). "Sinclair Broadcast forms venture with former Disney CEO Eisner to create TV shows". Baltimore Sun. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  9. ^ Michael Balderston (June 29, 2015). "Sinclair, MGM Team on Sci-Fi Multi-Channel Network". TVTechnology. NewBay Media. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  10. ^ Lorraine Mirabella (August 5, 2015). "Sinclair Broadcast exceeds second-quarter profit forecasts". Baltimore Sun. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c "Schedule A" (PDF). Comet. Sinclair Television Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 17, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "Sinclair to launch science fiction network on Halloween". Baltimore Sun. Tribune Publishing. October 20, 2015. 
  13. ^ Bouma, Luke (March 3, 2017). "Comet TV (The Over The Air TV Network) Now Streams FREE Online & On Roku". Cord Cutters News. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  14. ^ a b Johnny Brayson (October 30, 2015). "The 8 Most Bizarre Episodes of The Outer Limits". Outer Places. Retrieved October 31, 2015. ... the reboot returning to television via Comet TV ... 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Buckman, Adam (July 26, 2016). "Comet Diginet Streaks Into Multicast Universe". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia, LLC. Retrieved August 19, 2016. 
  16. ^ "April/May 2016 Schedule" (PDF). Comet TV. Sinclair Broadcasting Group, Inc. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 10, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2016. 
  17. ^ Johnson, Vaughn (November 16, 2015). "Ring of Honor to air on COMET beginning Dec. 2". Philly.com: The Squared Circle. Philadelphia Media Network (Digital), LLC. Retrieved January 27, 2016. 
  18. ^ Cynthia Littleton (June 29, 2015). "Sinclair Revs Original Programming Activity With MGM, Tornante Deals". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  19. ^ Rick Seltzer (October 19, 2015). "Sinclair will launch its sci-fi network with MGM on Halloween". Baltimore Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved October 20, 2015. 
  20. ^ Deborah McAdams (July 17, 2014). "Sinclair Launches Sports Network". TV Technology. Retrieved July 17, 2014. 

External links

  • Official website
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