×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sinclair Revs Original Programming Activity With MGM, Tornante Deals

Sinclair Broadcast Group is taking steps to leverage the considerable reach of its 162 TV stations by setting separate programming pacts with MGM-TV and Michael Eisner’s Tornante banner.

The MGM deal calls for Sinclair to launch a digital multicast channel devoted to sci-fi movies and TV shows from the MGM vault, including Bryan Fuller’s cult-fave series “Dead Like Me.” With Tornante, the Baltimore-based station group has set a joint venture to produce and distribute programs for firstrun syndication. Both deals were unveiled Monday.

Sinclair is one of the largest TV station owners in the country with outlets reaching 79 markets. Like other major TV players, the company is clearly focused on owning more of its content in order to reap the benefits of downstream licensing revenue.

The amount of digital multicast real estate that Sinclair’s stations offer has further expanded the company’s reach, although low viewership remains a challenge for those outlets that are digital offshoots of the mothership station.

The unnamed MGM channel is targeted to debut in the fourth quarter of this year, with coverage in about 30% of U.S. TV households. The channel will also be shopped to stations outside of Sinclair markets. Channels designed for digital multicast carriage have become a new form of syndication for content owners.

Sinclair’s Steve Pruett will oversee the MGM channel, with MGM execs handling programming.

The Tornante pact will focus on developing projects for the 2016 season. Tornante will oversee creative development through a Los Angeles-based team that will work with Tornante co-president Lauren Corrao, a veteran TV programmer. Tornante and Sinclair are already in business on the syndicated court show “Judge Faith,” which led the sides to expand their partnership as Sinclair hunts for more opportunity to own and distribute programming.

“We are excited to further leverage and expand our exceptionally vast and diversified portfolio at Sinclair in partnership with the Tornante Company to further secure our position as a leader in the television business and deliver new high-quality programming to our viewers,” said Sinclair president-CEO David Smith.

The initial focus will be on game shows, talk shows, court shows and comedies.

“When we met with David Smith, Steve Pruett, and team it was immediately clear that they had a vision for the future of broadcasting and our intent is to pair our expertise in developing content with their distribution capabilities to create tremendous new opportunities for both parties,” Eisner said.

In May, Sinclair also cut a deal with Discovery’s Destination America to expand distribution of its weekly Ring of Honor Wresting telecasts. Sinclair bought the grappler league in 2011.

(Pictured: Dead Like Me)

More TV

  • Westworld Season 3 Trailer

    'Westworld' Season 3 Trailer Focuses on New Cast Member Aaron Paul

    Ahead of the final episode of “Game of Thrones,” HBO released the first trailer for the new season of another flagship show: “Westworld.” The first look at the third season of the sci-fi show puts the focus on new series regular Aaron Paul, best known for his run on “Breaking Bad.” The trailer doesn’t reveal [...]

  • AMERICAN IDOL - "218 (Season Finale)"

    Adam Lambert Does Double Performing Duty on 'Idol' as New Winner is Crowned

    A new “American Idol” winner was crowned Sunday night, but not before Adam Lambert returned to the stage for the season finale for a pair of performances that included his new single and a duet with eliminated contestant Dimitrius Graham Sunday. The show concluded with Louisiana teen Laine Hardy showered in confetti as he was [...]

  • Beyonce Emilia Clarke

    Emilia Clarke Worried Beyonce Would Hate Daenerys After 'Game of Thrones'' Final Season

    After eight seasons as the Mother of Dragons, “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke has a lot of celebrity fans. But the most impressive? Probably Queen Bey. In a New Yorker interview posted after Sunday night’s series finale, Clarke revealed that she met Beyonce at an Oscars after-party hosted by the musician and her husband, [...]

  • Game of Thrones Finale

    Why the 'Game of Thrones' Finale Couldn't Have Satisfied Everyone

    The “Game of Thrones” finale may have achieved a strange feat: Aiming for fan service while being constrained, by its very nature, to the reality that it would end up pleasing only very few. The episode was larded with character touches designed for devotees — from a title, at long last, for fan favorite Bronn, [...]

  • Game of Thrones Finale

    'Game of Thrones': Celebrity Fans Have Mixed Reaction to Series Finale

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you have not seen the series finale of “Game of Thrones,” titled “The Iron Throne.”  Whether you loved it or hated it, the series finale of “Game of Thrones” was one for the history books. After the final episode aired Sunday night, fans across the globe took to [...]

  • ‘Game of Thrones’: 8 Shocking Moments

    ‘Game of Thrones’: 8 Shocking Moments From the Finale

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you have not seen the finale of “Game of Thrones.” Well, that’s it. After the “Game of Thrones” finale, many of us will likely emulate Jon Snow and just retire North of the Wall. It was billed as one of the biggest events in TV history, and showrunners [...]

  • Front row: CBS THIS MORNING co-hosts

    CBS Hurls New Anchor Team Into TV's Morning-News Wars

    News Team: Assemble. CBS News plans to hurl a new anchor squad into TV’s morning-news wars Monday when a different trio – Gayle King, Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil –  takes the helm at “CBS This Morning.” The A.M. effort that has won critical plaudits by focusing on harder news topics, like international affairs and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content