While diginets still have some hurdles to face — such as rising program license fees — they have captured the attention of general-market advertisers and they are looking forward to the rollout of the upcoming ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard with its expanded capacity. What’s more, the multicast networks are relieved that the FCC’s incentive auction and ongoing repack of the TV band isn’t affecting their station carriage deals to any significant extent.
Sinclair Television Group and MGM’s Comet TV sci-fi and horror broadcast network is now available on televisions nationwide via new apps for Apple TV and Roku. The free, ad-supported Comet TV — stocked with more than 1,500 hours of MGM programming — launched as a digital multicast network in late 2015, and is currently available in over 100 broadcast markets and online at CometTV.com.
MGM and its partner, Sinclair Broadcast Group, looked to the stars for the inspiration for its latest multicast network, Comet. Central to the channel’s sci-fi programming is the Stargate franchise comprising three live-action series, one animated series and three Stargate movies. Comet’s execs are pleased that the diginet is “skewing younger than most of these other [classic TV] channels.”
While the spectrum auction and repack could raise challenges, most multicast network players say they’re bullish on the business, especially with the likely adoption of ATSC 3.0. Diginets keep adding affiliates and expanding coverage and the top ones have begun attracting general market advertising. This is Part 1 of a four-part special report on multicasting. Parts 2 and 3 also appear today. Part 4, running Thursday morning, will focus on the technology of compression and channel sharing. You can read the other stories here.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is starting a new science fiction network along with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer at the end of the month. Comet, will air MGM TV programming including The Outer Limits, Dead Like Me and several iterations of the Stargate franchise. It will also have movies from the MGM vault as well, including Moonraker and The Terminator.