Replace Circle in some markets, including Chicago’s WBBM-TV
Sinclair’s digital subchannel Charge returns to the Chicago area, landing at CBS-owned WBBM-TV as part of a deal with the CBS News And Stations Group, who saw several stations also take sci-fi-based channel Comet.
“We are thrilled to announce the expansion of our networks’ distribution and the strengthening of our impactful partnership with CBS, showcasing our commitment to delivering compelling content to a broader audience across the U.S.,” Sinclair senior VP of distribution Lee Schlazer said.
Charge replaces Circle in several CBS markets including Chicago, where it took over the 2.5 space Thursday vacated by the country-based channel, now being exclusively offered as a FAST.
Other CBS stations taking Charge include independent KCAL Los Angeles and KYW Philadelphia, also replacing Circle.
Sinclair also cleared new homes for Comet with WCBS New York and KPIX San Francisco adding them to their digital tiers but Comet remains off linear in Chicago. TBD and The Nest (formerly Stadium) also secured new clearances in some markets including San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Miami. In Chicago, TBD airs on WGN-TV’s digital tiers.
In Chicago, both Charge and Comet were previously on the tiers of religious independent WJYS (Channel 62), as well as Stadium but all were dropped some time ago as it appeared WJYS and Sinclair couldn’t agree on terms on a renewal. Charge landing at WBBM is the best upgrade Sinclair could ever ask for.
Comet features mainly recent sci-fi and movie programming, while Charge airs mainly police procedurals. Both networks saw an increase in audience last year thanks to each refreshing their programming schedules with newer off-network programming. Comet recently added Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The X Files, while Charge recently added CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and Without A Trace.
Both Charge and Comet are available to stream on the web here and here, available on Sinclair’s app Stirr, and Fubo, Sling, and YouTubeTV so if you’re in the Chicago area and want to check out Comet, well there you go.