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Comet (TV network)

Type Digital broadcast television network
Country United States
Availability Nationwide, via OTA digital television in select markets[1]
Founded June 29, 2015 (2015-06-29)
Slogan Space Out
Headquarters Los Angeles, California
Owner Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Sinclair Television Group, Inc.
(each own 50%)
Key people
  • Steve Pruett (co-COO, Sinclair Television Group)
  • John Bryan
  • (president of Domestic TV Distribution, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
Launch date
October 31, 2015 (2015-10-31)[2]
Picture format
480i (SDTV)
Affiliates (see list)
Official website

Comet is an American digital broadcast television network that is owned as a joint venture between the MGM Television division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the Sinclair Television Group, Inc. subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcast Group. The network focuses on science fiction, supernatural, adventure and fantasy series and films, sourced mainly from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer library.[1][2]

Through its ownership by MGM, Comet is a sister network to This TV (a joint venture with Tribune Broadcasting) and The Works (a joint venture with Titan Broadcast Management), which both carry programming from corporate cousin MGM Television.


  • History 1
  • Programming 2
    • Upcoming programming 2.1
      • Science fiction series 2.1.1
      • Educational programming 2.1.2
  • Affiliates 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


On June 29, 2015, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the Sinclair Broadcast Group's broadcasting and programming subsidiary Sinclair Television Group announced the pending launch of a then-unnamed science fiction network that would be run by the two companies, with a targeted launch scheduled for the fall of that year. Although Sinclair Television Group and MGM would jointly own the channel, most of the network's operations – including programming – would be handled by MGM, in an arrangement more expansive than the responsibilities it maintains for the company's existing multicast network joint ventures This TV and The Works (for those networks, MGM mainly provides programming content and handles national distribution).[3][4]

Sinclair chief operating officer David Amy, in announcing the partnership, noted that MGM – which would provide much of the network's content – "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". As part of the announcement, stations owned and/or operated by Sinclair would serve as the network's initial charter affiliates.[5][6][7]

On August 5, 2015, in its release of the company's financial report for the Second Quarter of 2015, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that Comet would be the name of the new network.[8] The network is the first national multi-casting venture by Sinclair Broadcast Group, which began leveraging its expansive national station reach (at the time of the announcement, Sinclair operated 162 television stations in 79 markets, the most of any U.S. broadcaster, many of which are run under local marketing and shared services agreements with a station that the group owns outright) by owning more of its content, through the acquisition of the Ring of Honor wrestling promotion in 2011, and later with the 2014 launch of the American Sports Network syndication service and an investment/development deal with The Tornante Company (owned by former Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner) that was announced concurrently with the formation of Comet.[9]

On October 26, 2015 (or October 27 in some markets), some of Comet's charter affiliates – particularly those run by co-parent Sinclair – began airing a looping three-minute promotional reel (which was customized to include the affiliate's channel placement for the network) featuring generic promotions advertising Comet's launch as well as promos for two of the films (the 1984 sci-fi/action film The Terminator and the 1979 sci-fi-themed James Bond film Moonraker) that were set to air as part of the network's inaugural schedule. The network formally launched at 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time on October 31, 2015 with a paid program for the NuWave Oven; Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot aired as the network's inaugural entertainment broadcast 90 minutes later as part of Comet's children's program block.[2][10]


Comet relies on programming that is sourced from the extensive library of films and television programming owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and subsidiary United Artists (with the notable exclusions of MGM's library of film and television series made prior to May 1986, the Associated Artists Productions (a.a.p.) library, and the U.S. rights to the RKO Pictures library, whose rights are currently held by Time Warner through its Turner Entertainment subsidiary), carrying more than 1,500 hours worth of programming from the studio.[1][2]

The network's programming consists of a mix of theatrically released feature films and select off-network series from the 1960s to the 2000s (such as Stargate SG-1, which also airs on sister network This TV, and the revival of The Outer Limits[11]) centering on science fiction and related genres, giving it a more distinctive format than that commonly found on other multicast networks (such as Me-TV, Antenna TV and Decades), which maintain a general entertainment programming format. Films owned by MGM that were originally released between the 1940s and the early 2000s will make up much of Comet's weekday morning, late-afternon and late-night lineup, as well as the majority of its weekend schedule outside of educational and paid programming.[1][9][3][6] The network will also carry two-hour blocks of children's programming on Saturday and Sunday mornings in order to fulfill educational programming requirements mandated by the Federal Communications Commission.

Upcoming programming

Science fiction series

Educational programming

  • Origins (October 31, 2015–present)[10]
  • 3 Wide Life (October 31, 2015–present)[10]


As of October 2015, Comet has affiliation agreements with television stations in 78 media markets encompassing 33 states and the District of Columbia (including stations in eight of the 10 largest Nielsen markets), covering 60% of the United States (or 150,891,489 households with at least one television set).[12][13] Affiliates have the option of transmitting the network in the 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio, depending on the bandwidth needed to deliver high definition content over the station's main channel; however, the majority of the network's charter affiliates will carry Comet in the 4:3 format.

Sinclair Broadcast Group initially planned to launch Comet on select television stations owned by the company (including those operated through sharing agreements with partner companies Deerfield Media and Cunningham Broadcasting), with an initially announced market reach of 30% of all U.S. television households. The network also intends to seek carriage on the digital subchannels of television stations owned by other broadcasting companies.[1] In August 2015, Sinclair and MGM signed an affiliation deal with Titan Broadcast Management to carry Comet on WZME in Bridgeport, Connecticut (which serves the New York City market); the agreement would later extend to other Titan stations (including those operated by the company through agreements with NRJ TV). On October 20, 2015, Sinclair and MGM announced that the network would be carried on Tribune Broadcasting-owned stations in Indianapolis and Hartford (the former of which, CBS affiliate WTTV and its Kokomo-based satellite station WTTK, were formerly owned by Sinclair from 1996 to 2002).[13][14][15]

Several Sinclair stations are using Comet to replace ZUUS Country on a subchannel carrying the country music video network (continuing a phaseout of the network on Sinclair's television stations that began in January 2015, when the group began its affiliation agreement with Katz Broadcasting-owned Grit); as is already done by some Sinclair stations with their subchannels, the Comet-affiliated subchannel will likely carry sports events from the American Sports Network during prime time under local scheduling to avert network programming pre-emptions on the parent station's main channel in markets where it is carried by a station operated by Sinclair or another broadcaster which acts as an ASN broadcast partner.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Kevin Downey (June 29, 2015). "MGM, Sinclair To Debut Sci-Fi Diginet". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d John Kiesewetter (October 12, 2015). "New Sci-Fi Comet Channel Lands Here Oct. 31".  
  3. ^ a b Paige Albiniak (June 29, 2015). "Sinclair, MGM Partner on New Sci-Fi Diginet".  
  4. ^ "Sinclair Broadcast Group And Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Partner On First Ever Science Fiction Multi-Channel Network".  
  5. ^ Kevin Eck (June 29, 2015). "Sinclair to Launch Network with MGM".  
  6. ^ a b Lorraine Mirabella (June 29, 2015). "Sinclair Broadcast forms venture with former Disney CEO Eisner to create TV shows".  
  7. ^ Michael Balderston (June 29, 2015). "Sinclair, MGM Team on Sci-Fi Multi-Channel Network". TVTechnology. NewBay Media. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  8. ^ Lorraine Mirabella (August 5, 2015). "Sinclair Broadcast exceeds second-quarter profit forecasts". Baltimore Sun (Tribune Publishing). Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Cynthia Littleton (June 29, 2015). "Sinclair Revs Original Programming Activity With MGM, Tornante Deals".  
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "Schedule A" (PDF). Comet.  
  11. ^ 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 ... 
  12. ^ "Stations for Network - Comet TV".  
  13. ^ a b "Sinclair, MGM Comet Diginet Debuts Oct. 31". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. October 20, 2015. 
  14. ^ Rick Seltzer (October 19, 2015). "Sinclair will launch its sci-fi network with MGM on Halloween". Baltimore Business Journal.  
  15. ^ "Sinclair to launch science fiction network on Halloween".  

External links

  • Official website
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