Comet (TV network)
|Type||Digital broadcast television network|
|Availability||Nationwide, via OTA digital television in select markets (covering 60% of the U.S.)|
|Founded||June 29, 2015|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California|
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group|
|October 31, 2015|
|480i (widescreen; SDTV)|
Comet is an American digital broadcast television network that is owned by the Sinclair Television Group, a subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcast Group with operational partner, MGM Television, a division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
The network operates in a similar fashion to a shared services agreement that is usually formed between two local TV stations. The network focuses on science fiction with some supernatural, horror, adventure and fantasy series and films, sourced mainly from the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer library.
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 a then-unnamed science fiction network. 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. 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.
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.
The network formally launched at 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time on October 31, 2015 with Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot. The 1984 sci-fi/action film The Terminator and the 1979 sci-fi-themed James Bond film Moonraker were its premiere night 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.
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). 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.
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). The network also intended to seek carriage on the digital subchannels of television stations owned by other broadcasting companies. Titan Broadcast Management and Tribune Broadcasting were the first outside of Sinclair operated stations to affiliate some of their stations with Comet.
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 as an alternate outlet to air events not being carried by the affiliate's main channel.
- Syfy – American cable and satellite network owned by NBCUniversal, featuring science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, wrestling, reality, 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
- Kevin Downey (June 29, 2015). "MGM, Sinclair To Debut Sci-Fi Diginet". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
- Kevin Eck (June 29, 2015). "Sinclair to Launch Network with MGM". TVSpy. Mediabistro Holdings. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
- John Kiesewetter (October 12, 2015). "New Sci-Fi Comet Channel Lands Here Oct. 31". WVXU. Cincinnati Public Radio. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
- Paige Albiniak (June 29, 2015). "Sinclair, MGM Partner on New Sci-Fi Diginet". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
- "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.
- 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.
- Michael Balderston (June 29, 2015). "Sinclair, MGM Team on Sci-Fi Multi-Channel Network". TVTechnology. NewBay Media. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
- Lorraine Mirabella (August 5, 2015). "Sinclair Broadcast exceeds second-quarter profit forecasts". Baltimore Sun. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
- Cynthia Littleton (June 29, 2015). "Sinclair Revs Original Programming Activity With MGM, Tornante Deals". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
- "Schedule A" (PDF). Comet. Sinclair Television Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 17, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2015.
- "Sinclair to launch science fiction network on Halloween". Baltimore Sun. Tribune Publishing. October 20, 2015.
- 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 ...
- "April/May 2016 Schedule" (PDF). Comet TV. Sinclair Broadcasting Group, Inc. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 10, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- "Shows". Comet TV.com. Sinclair Broadcasting Group.
- 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.
- "About Comet". Comettv.com. Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
- 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.
- Deborah McAdams (July 17, 2014). "Sinclair Launches Sports Network". TV Technology. Retrieved July 17, 2014.