Sinclair Broadcast Group will launch Comet, a broadcast science fiction channel, on stations reaching more than 65 million homes, or about 60 percent of the national market, on Oct. 31.
The Hunt Valley-based television stations owner and operator said it is partnering with Los Angeles-based Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios on the new network, which it says is the first to offer 24-hours-a-day, seven-day-a-week science fiction programming over the air.
The network will be owned by Sinclair, and MGM will handle some operations, including programming. In addition to Sinclair-owned stations, Comet will launch on a number of stations owned by Titan Television Broadcast Group and Tribune Media Co., the former parent of The Baltimore Sun.
It will be broadcast digitally as a subchannel of another station. Digital TV signals allow up to five or six stations to be broadcast in the same spectrum as a single analog station.
Comet will feature a mix of science fiction, fantasy and adventure programming from MGM, including television series such as "Outer Limits" and "Dead Like Me," with "Stargate SG-1," "Stargate Atlantis," and "Stargate Universe" anchoring the prime-time lineup. MGM films also will be featured, including "Moonraker" and "The Terminator" for the premiere.
"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," David Amy, Sinclair's chief operating officer, said in a statement.
The network will debut in such top markets as New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Philadelphia; Seattle; Denver; St. Louis; San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Boston; Pittsburgh; and Houston.
"MGM is thrilled that Comet will debut in so many top markets, launching as the single largest multicast network and sci-fi channel to date," John Bryan, MGM's president, domestic television distribution, said in a statement. "The sci-fi community is among the most expansive and loyal in entertainment, and we look forward to programming the channel for this ever-growing audience."
Sinclair is the nation's largest broadcast television companies with 167 television stations, airing 388 channels in 80 markets.