Syfy has competition

This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by ZLoth ZLoth 3 weeks, 3 days ago.

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  • #1801
    Earl
    Earl
    Keymaster
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    Meet Comet TV. [LINK]

    COMET is a new television channel dedicated to sci-fi entertainment offering popular favorites, cult classics, and undiscovered gems, every day. COMET is your television destination for STARGATE: SG1, STARGATE ATLANTIS, and STARGATE UNIVERSE and we’re starting them all from episode one. Watch COMET and Space Out.

    They also showed Moonraker and Species this weekend. The common thread between those and everything listed above? MGM. It’s all the Stargate you can eat! But this is a network that’s also trying to lock down over-the-air affiliates – almost all of them will be “.2” secondary HD channels – so they could challenge Syfy on a battleground where Syfy effectively doesn’t exist. And it gets more interesting if you check the Wikipedia article on COMET [LINK]:

    Comet is a 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.

    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.

    The Tribune thing is interesting. That brings the possibility of numerous genre shows from the ’90s appearing eventually: Earth Final Conflict, Kevin Sorbo’s Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, Mutant X, Nightman… basically, all the stuff I was promoting in Wisconsin in the late ’90s.

    Wikipedia further adds that Comet has the rights to “Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot” and “Men into Space” – dunno about you, but I haven’t even heard those titles in ages. 😆 Johnny Sokko is trippy – as nutty as the English localization of everything Super Sentai seems, trust me, it used to be crazier.

    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.

    I doubt that’ll bother anyone until/unless it comes to originated-in-widescreen stuff like SG: Atlantis and SG: Universe. There’s no need for that to be 16:9 unless you’re going to have someone create pop-up video commentary in the unused “wings” of the screen.

    If Comet manages to work out an exclusivity deal with Warner or Paramount, then they might actually be a force to be reckoned with. Universal owns Syfy – their library will undoubtedly forever be off-limits. So no Galactica or Buck Rogers, but access to another major studio’s currently-not-being-exploited-much vaults would be a big thing.

    Of course, talking to the BBC or ITC about “old stuff” like Red Dwarf, Space: 1999…well, that’d be a big thing too. Maybe Steve’s Blue Box could happen, not as its own channel but as a programming block. It all depends on how ballsy the folks running Comet feel like being today.

    I should probably send them a resume. Old syndicated sci-fi shows? I got this.

    #8249
    Steve W
    Steve W
    Participant
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    Well, it sounds like a good idea and unlike SyFy, they can wrap their heads around the concept of filling in a niche, rather than trying to appeal to everybody.

    But trying to launch a television channel in this day and age? I’m not sure how well that’s going to work. I honestly have no way of watching it at this point. The notion of watching regular TV, showing at specific times with commercials jammed in every seven minutes, is totally alien to me now. I haven’t regularly watched boring ol’ vanilla TV in something like eight or nine years now. Just putting up with commercials would drive me nuts.

    #24459
    Earl
    Earl
    Keymaster
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    So, I just revisited Comet TV’s web site because, as it so happens, it’s on our cable here in Utah…and man, it’s like their program director was reading the first post in this thread. Let’s recap what I said nearly 3 years ago…

    The Tribune thing is interesting. That brings the possibility of numerous genre shows from the ’90s appearing eventually: Earth Final Conflict, Kevin Sorbo’s Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, Mutant X, Nightman… basically, all the stuff I was promoting in Wisconsin in the late ’90s.

    Andy
    Called it.

    If Comet manages to work out an exclusivity deal with Warner or Paramount, then they might actually be a force to be reckoned with. Universal owns Syfy – their library will undoubtedly forever be off-limits. So no Galactica or Buck Rogers, but access to another major studio’s currently-not-being-exploited-much vaults would be a big thing.

    Babs
    Do “big things” get much bigger than the first domestic reruns of Babylon 5 on broadcast or cable since Sci-Fi Channel circa 2002? As for Paramount, they’ve thrown their lot in with Heroes & Icons [blog entry here], which has aired every Star Trek TV series except Discovery, and also has Hercules and Xena (Universal) and Batman ’66 (Warners) on its schedule.

    Of course, talking to the BBC or ITC about “old stuff” like Red Dwarf, Space: 1999…well, that’d be a big thing too.

    Spacey
    Oh, man, look at that – old stuff! Hey Ubik! You can finally rewatch all of Space: 1999!

    As for the BBC…they’re not on the schedule yet, because TV Doctor Who is locked down by Retro TV (along with One Step Beyond, the Fleischer Superman cartoons, Haven, and Green Hornet), but…

    Y’know, Comet TV, I’d be happy to keep consulting on programming choices for a nominal fee…

    #24536
    Earl
    Earl
    Keymaster
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    So I watched night 1… the TNT re-edit of The Gathering…

    …and it looked…

    …absolutely horrible. I mean, no joke, it looked like shit. Pixelization artifacts galore (especially where motion under high-contrast lighting conditions was concerned), fuzzy image quality…even the DVDs aren’t that bad. It’s almost like Warners told Comet “Hey, thanks for the cash, the ink has dried on the contract…um…hey…we can’t find the tapes, can you just go download a torrent of the whole series, especially if the vertical size is no more than 320 pixels high, and run that on the air? We gotta go pick up our dry cleaning, pretty sure you can figure it out from here, thanks.”

    I mean…I understand the stories behind why the DVDs look extra bad. This was even worse. I pulled up the rip I did of my own DVD sets from my media server, and they didn’t look this bad.

    Sigh. I try so hard to tell people it’s worth overlooking the picture quality to experience the story. The way “The Gathering” looked tonight on Comet… I couldn’t blame anyone for bailing out regardless.

    #24858
    ubikuberalles
    ubikuberalles
    Moderator
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    “Hey Ubik! You can finally rewatch all of Space: 1999!”

    I watched all of Space 1999 on NetFlix DVD many years ago. I don’t need to see any of it again. Ever. 😛

    #24859
    ZLoth
    ZLoth
    Moderator
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    What don’t you like about Spaced: $19.99 ?


    “You can not operate in this room unless you believe that you are Superman, and whatever happens, you’re capable of solving the problem.” – Gene Kranz

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