On March 3rd, Wizard World, in connection with Cinedigm, is launching a service called CONtv. The multi-platform digital service will feature genre films and TV (80’s cartoons, cult films, anime, horror) as well as original shows (reality shows and game shows) plus content from Wizard conventions (panels, events, interviews and more).
The service is available for $6.99/month or as a free, ad-supported service. It’s available on a variety of platforms, including Roku, iOS, Android, XBox, Samsung Smart TV and more.
This seems like a really great idea to me. I love procrastinating instead of writing and it can be a real pain trying to track down on YouTube that specific episode of Voltron where Sven’s living in a cave and he’s like “Eye am a VILD MAN!”. You know what I mean. Now, those days are over. Also, there’s always some panel way on the other side of the con you want to go to but you’re in line for something else or jeez, Kevin Conroy is just talking your ear off, what a little chatterbox he is. Now, you just pop on to COVtv and you can see Michael Rooker violate several county ordinances, just like you were there!
Curious? Understandable. You can check it out here. Honestly, I’m just glad Farscape will be back on TV somewhere…
UPDATE: Mika’s comments on CONtv follow
I first heard about CONtv when I attended Wizard World’s Comic Con in Madison, WI a few weeks ago. In the Comic Con newspaper handout, that all fans were given for free at check-in, there was a page add for CONtv. The add encouraged con goers to sign up now to get one month free. A streaming network devoted to comic con fans and available through most digital platforms (Playstation, XBox, Apple TV, Roku, iOS, Android, Windows, etc.), CONtv costs $6.99/month. So this is a digital streaming service (like Netflix or Amazon Prime) specializing in fandom TV and film? OK, you have my attention.
To clarify, CONtv more like Hulu (i.e. ad-supported content) with a paid option similar to Hulu Plus (i.e. no ads). The paid option also comes with additional advantages which according to comicbook.com are, “[…] content exclusives, audience rewards, social viewing experiences, and Wizard World ticketing bundles.”
So what will the content of CONtv be? As of now, we are looking at a lot of nostalgic cartoon shows, horror and martial art films which include: “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe”, “Voltron”, “She-Ra: Princess of Power”, Evil Dead, Puppet Master, Fists of Fury, and Street Fighter Alpha. The content list also includes cult classics (Godzilla, Death Race 2000), Sci-Fi TV shows (BBC’s “Being Human”, “Farscape”, and “Highlander”), and anime (“Ghost in the Shell”, “Digimon”, and “Yu-Gi-Oh”).
OK. Now, I am not an expert and this is purely my opinion, but I feel like a lot of this “fandom geared content” is already readily available on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Also, the press release mentions the Highlander TV show–what about the films? (Or at least the first film)? Also, besides Ghost in the Shell, the anime content is looking pretty sad. Yes, Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh are popular, but mainly with young children or fans who were first introduced to them as young children. I highly doubt that you are going to convert any adult into an anime fan with either of these series. And if we are going to appeal to young fans for anime, where is Pokemon?
Also, there is not a lot of new content being listed in what’s available on CONtv. Where are the new anime or Sci-Fi shows? I am a huge Farscape fan, but the last episode aired in 2003–12 years ago. This is not exactly the cutting edge of fandom. Fans do love their cult classics, but I really hope that CONtv soon realizes that they also need to provide newer content if they want to be considered as a viable digital TV platform. Going back to Farscape as an example, the entire series is already available through Netflix (a streaming service that I already have) and I own the entire series on DVD. Why would I pay for CONtv when I already have a lot of the content that they will provide?
CONtv will also have some original content. (Thank goodness). There are currently three original series that CONtv is producing: Fight of the Living Dead, Last Fan Standing (a game show hosted by fan favorite Bruce Campbell), and My Morphing Life (a reality show following the original Green Power Ranger, Jason David Frank). Flight of the Living Dead is a mock reality TV series. It stars a lot of YouTube personalities as they are left in abandoned jail and forced to fight for their lives in a faux zombie apocalypse.