Comet TV, a free OTA science fiction channel has finally come to Roku. This was something that cord-cutters had been waiting for. Why? Because Comet TV is a channel that shows the potential for OTA to deliver entertainment in the same way cable does, which is with niche based programming. It is one of a number of niche based OTA channels that has begun to pick up notoriety as people begin to drift away from bloated pay TV packages and look for alternatives via streaming and what can be found via an antenna. The channel is a linear based channel, which means that the programming is available the old fashioned way, when it comes on. So no picking and choosing like a number of Roku Channels. There is a helpful programming guide available if you press the asterisk. If you are unfamiliar with the programming on Comet, it is a free s Other genre channels include Laff, a comedy based channel, Grit, a channel featuring what could be defined as masculine-centered and Qubo, a children’s network. So should we expect to see those or any other OTA networks to join Comet? Maybe, but if we had to take a big guess it would be that the next antenna based network to show up on Roku would be one you may not have ever heard of. Charge!
That’s not an order, Charge is the name of a TV network launched by the same team that brought us Comet TV. The network has a focus on action/adventure fare and pulls from MGM’s library. Like Comet, it already has a live stream available via its website and is a property of the partnership between Sinclair and MGM. It would be logical to guess that the channel would have a similar move towards streaming in the future.
What is on Charge?
Right now, Charge seems to have a small slate of programming. For instance, we shuffled through a week’s worth of programming and found a number of titles repeated like the series LAPD and the film Gator, starring Burt Reynolds. This sort of programming should not come as much of a surprise considering that the channel launched only a few weeks ago. But we expect it to grow in scope as it appears that the companies behind it have a focus on creating revenue in OTA and streaming. It should be noted for instance, it is not just another landing spot for a huge collection of public domain films or a hodgepodge of random TV shows from the 1950’s. Even though it seems to be pieced together it has a theme and like Comet should come into focus over time. Few might remember the sort of meager programming that graced the original Comedy channel, which eventually became comedy central or the Sci-Fi Channel, later SyFy, which relied on very old fare long before groundbreaking shows like the reboot of Battle Star Galactica. So keep an eye on this one.
Another network from the same partners that could drop onto Roku would be TBD. No, I’m not leaving it open. That’s the name of a new network. While Charge is a network with an order as its name TBD sounds more like a possible solution to a long spate of winter weather or a rain delay in baseball. The network is hailing itself as a network for people who love the Internet. Now, while a network based on OTA broadcasting might seem out of place appealing the on-demand generation, keep in mind which audience is gravitating towards cord cutting or has never had cable. It’s the millennials. The counter-intuitive move to appeal to a generation of young adults via a medium left behind by their grandparents might not make sense to everyone but may well prove to be genius. Its slate of programming is skinny at the moment but as the population of those who eschew pay television increases, and a leap to a streaming platform Roku that logged 9 billion hours of use in 2016 it could easily become a nice addition to the media landscape. A look at the schedule reveals the thinking with original shows like 10 UP which focuses on video games or shows about pranks hat become viral videos.