Comet (TV network)
|Type||Digital broadcast television network|
Nationwide, via OTA digital TV|
(U.S. coverage: 60%)
|Founded||June 29, 2015|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California|
Sinclair TV Group(Sinclair Broadcast Group)|
(operated by MGM
|October 31, 2015|
|Affiliates||List of Comet affiliates|
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 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.
The network formally launched 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. In the summer of 2016, the network also acquired the rights to full two-hour repeat episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (a show which by coincidence launched on KTMA-TV in Minneapolis, which is now Sinclair-owned WUCW, which carries Comet as a digital subaffiliate), which are carried in a Sunday night double-run (albeit expanded to 2¼ hours to accommodate additional advertising), along with older films in the Godzilla franchise. Movies from other distributors, including Warner Bros., have also aired on Comet.
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.
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 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. 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.
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). By July 2016, the network had grown to 72 markets covering 72% of U.S. TV households.
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.
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... the reboot returning to television via Comet TV ...
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