Nearly a year after it was first announced that Comic-Con International and Lionsgate were partnering to created a dedicated Comic-Con SVOD service the two companies announced their launch plans for the platform today.
Dubbed Comic-Con HQ, the platform will debut as free offering in beta on the web and iOS and Android devices on May 7 prior to going behind a subscription paywall in June, leading up to Comic-Con International: San Diego, scheduled for July 20–24 at the San Diego Convention Center. No price has been revealed for the service.
The paid subscription service will roll out in the following months over connected devices including Roku, AppleTV and Xbox One.
The ad-free streaming service will feature original scripted and unscripted series, recurring daily and weekly entertainment commentary, a selection of film and TV genre titles, and bonus features from genre titles, along with an expanding library of live and archival programming culled from Comic-Con events, which also include WonderCon in Los Angeles and the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco.
Comic-Con HQ faces competition from ConTV, a VOD service launched in March 2015 by multi-platform distributor Cinedigm and convention producer Wizard World. Like Comic-Con HQ, ConTV features a mix of genre library titles and original and content shot at its conventions. It is available for free, with ads, or in ad-free subscription form ($4.99/month), with additional exclusive content.
While Comic-Con HQ will be able to cull content from the world’s single most important pop culture convention — Comic-Con International: San Diego — ConTV has a numerical advantage with partner Wizard World, which produces 25 conventions around the world annually.
What is known is that Adam Sessler, the former host of the G4 series “X-Play,” will executive produce comics, science and gaming programs and host his own one-on-one interview series. Fellow G4 alum Kevin Pereira (“Attack of the Show”) and his company Attack Media will executive produce an entertainment pop culture news show and a late night talk show. Comic-Con Q is also developing two roundtable discussion shows and an all-female pop culture panel discussion series, as well as a weekly movie talk show produced in partnership with Complex’s Collider, inspired by their “Collider Movie Talk” series.
Comic-Con HQ will also feature the scripted comedy series “Kings of Con,” inspired by real-life fan convention experiences from “Supernatural” stars Richard Speight and Rob Benedict; the science entertainment program “Impossible Science,” starring illusionist Jason Latimer; and the previously-announced unscripted cosplay catwalk modeling series “Her Universe,” hosted by Ashley Eckstein, actress and founder of the fangirl fashion company and lifestyle brand Her Universe.
More original series will be revealed in the weeks leading up to Comic-Con International: San Diego.