San Diego Comic-Con gears up

be652db1-cchq-3d-logo-rgb-finaltmyellow_07804z07804z000000SyFy to broadcast from Comic-Con; new SVOD platform with Lionsgate ramps up

The last few years, television coverage from San Diego’s Comic-Con has been hard to come by. But this year, that’s going to change.

Recently, SyFy announced it would be broadcasting live from the 47th annual pop culture celebration, which runs from July 21-24. The cable net coverage titled Syfy presents live from Comic-Con begins July 21 at 8 p.m./ET (7 p.m. CT) for three consecutive nights, through the 23rd. Broadcast straight from the convention, SyFy’s coverage plans to bring viewers breaking news, celebrity guests, exclusive clips from upcoming movies, audience interaction and a lot more (and hopefully, no Wil Wheaton.)

With SyFy airing coverage of the pop-culture extravaganza, there is no doubt there will be several tie-ins to Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens. The latest flick in the tired franchise is due to premiere July 31 a week after Comic-Con concludes (yes, get used to seeing a lot of Tara Reid.)

This marks a return of television coverage to the event in a few years. G4’s Attack Of The Show broadcast live from Comic-Con in the late 2000’s, but coverage was later scaled back and eliminated.

SyFy also plans to celebrate Comic-Con with a Seven Days of Comic-Con celebration, across its linear, online, and social media platforms, starting on July 17.

Both SyFy and G4 are owned by NBCUniversal; Attack Of The Show was canceled in early 2013; G4 suspended operations at the end of 2014.

But what’s that? You need more? Well, Comic-Con International and Lionsgaate have a deal for you. Both are teaming up to launch a rather ambitious new subscription video on-demand service (SVOD) called Comic-Con HQ.

The service plans to offer original scripted and unscripted programming; a library of genre-specific film and off-network programming; and new and archived convention panels. Kevin Perierra of Attack Of The Show has been tapped to develop a nightly magazine show devoted to pop culture similar to Attack and a late-night talk show strip. Adam Sessler (another G4 alum) is developing and producing programs based on science, gaming, and comics, including a new interview series.

One show in development is a weekly roundtable show on movies, a format pioneered by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert through their various TV shows. The genre has been missing from television since PBS’ Ebert Presents At The Movies (hosted by Christy Lemire and Igor Vishnevetsky) ended production at the end of 2011, entering a hiatus it would never come out of. Ebert died in 2013.

There are also plans to stream some programming from San Diego Comic-Con, although it is unlikely they’ll live stream panels. However, archived panels are being offered, and Comic-Con also plans to stream the Masquerade and Will Eisner awards for the first time.

Comic-Con HQ test-launches as a free beta on May 7 with a full launch sometime in June. Pricing of the new service has not been set. The service plans to be available through browsers and iOS/Android devices and soon roll out on Roku, Apple TV, XBox One, and PS4 machines.

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