Comet (TV network)

Summary

Comet is an American digital broadcast television network owned by the Sinclair Television Group subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcast Group.[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] Sinclair also owns Charge! (action), Stadium (sports joint venture) and TBD (youth) broadcast networks. Comet is also available via streaming services, Apple TV, FuboTV, YouTubeTV, Roku, Sling TV Satellite Company Dish Network channel 289 and Sinclair's Stirr.

Comet
TypeDigital broadcast TV network (science fiction)
Country
United States
AvailabilityNationwide, via Dish Network, OTA digital
(coverage: 72%),[1] website & OTT TV
FoundedJune 29, 2015; 6 years ago (2015-06-29)
HeadquartersHunt Valley, Maryland
Owner
Key people
    • David Amy (vice chairman, Sinclair Broadcast Group)[3]
Launch date
October 31, 2015; 6 years ago (2015-10-31)[4]
Picture format
1080i (HDTV)
480i (SDTV, widescreen)
(downgraded to letterboxed 4:3 on some over-the-air affiliates)
AffiliatesList of Comet affiliates
WebcastWatch live
Official website
comettv.com
LanguageEnglish

HistoryEdit

 
Previous logo until 2020.

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 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] Sony's PlayStation Vue add the network to its Core package in late 2018.[14] The network was a launch channel of Sinclair's streaming service, Stirr, in January 2019.[15] Comet was added to Sling TV on February 20, 2019.[16]

As of 2020, along with Sibling network Charge!, Comet is now Owned-and-operated by Sinclair as MGM sold their Operation stake in the Two networks.[17]

ProgrammingEdit

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 The Ray Bradbury Theater and the 1990s revival of The Outer Limits).[18] This gives Comet a more demographically targeted format than on competitive networks such as MeTV, Heroes & Icons, Antenna TV and Decades, which maintain a general entertainment programming format.[19] Along with its sister terrestrial television networks and the regional network channel owned by Sinclair, Bally Sports, Comet airs Infomercials at Late night and early morning hours.

Recently, Comet started airing The X-Files, which select episodes of the show can be available to stream on Sister service Stirr, alongside other Comet shows such as Farscape (which premiered on Comet on January 3, 2022), Quantum Leap, The Outer Limits, Sliders, and Battlestar Galactica.

BusinessEdit

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.[20]

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, using direct-response commercials in determining viewership.[19]

AffiliatesEdit

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.[19]

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, Howard Stirk Holdings, 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 Sinclair operated stations to affiliate some of their stations with Comet.[12][21]

Due to its co-ownership by Sinclair, some of the group's stations (as well as others not run by Sinclair, Deerfield, Howard Stirk, or Cunningham that are affiliated with the syndication service) may elect to pre-empt certain afternoon 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 Fox, The CW and MyNetworkTV and other affiliated subchannels[22] as an alternate outlet to air events not being carried by the affiliate's main channel.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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. ^ 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". The 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. ^ "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". The Baltimore Sun. Tribune Publishing. October 20, 2015.
  13. ^ Spangler, Todd (March 21, 2017). "Sinclair, MGM Launch Comet TV Free Sci-Fi Network on Apple TV, Roku". Variety. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  14. ^ Frankel, Daniel (October 31, 2018). "Sony PlayStation Vue adds Tennis Channel, Comet, Stadium". Multichannel. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  15. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (January 16, 2019). "Sinclair Enters Streaming Arena With Entertainment Bundle and Local Channels". Variety. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  16. ^ Bouma, Luke (February 20, 2019). "Sling TV Just Added More Sci-Fi Programming Thanks to Comet". Cord Cutters News. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  17. ^ "Sinclair Pushes Its 'Stack' of Digital Over-the-Air Nets". 4 June 2021.
  18. ^ 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 ...
  19. ^ a b c Buckman, Adam (July 26, 2016). "Comet Diginet Streaks Into Multicast Universe". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia, LLC. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  20. ^ Cynthia Littleton (June 29, 2015). "Sinclair Revs Original Programming Activity With MGM, Tornante Deals". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Deborah McAdams (July 17, 2014). "Sinclair Launches Sports Network". TV Technology. Archived from the original on July 21, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2014.

External linksEdit

  • Official website