Comic-Con Streaming 2016: How to Use the SDCC HQ App

Gal Gadot SDCC, SDCC streaming, San Diego Comic Con, SDCC HQ

Gal Gadot at Entertainment Weekly’s Women Who Kick Ass Panel last year. (Getty)

It is here! Wednesday marks the start of the 2016 San Diego Comic Con International at the San Diego Convention Center. Since tickets are already sold out, most of us will be following the convention from home. This year, SDCC has launched Comic-Con HQ (CCHQ), which will make following from afar a bit easier.

Right now, you can sign up for CCHQ for free, but you have to provide a credit card to gain access. That’s because on the day after the convention wraps, July 25, you’ll be charged for either $5 or $50, depending on which subscription you picked. You can sign up for $5/month or $50/year. The app is available on Roku, Apple TV, PS4 and Microsoft devices.

During the convention, no panels will be streamed live. It’s sad, but true. The only way to follow the action at panels from home is on Twitter, Facebook and press coverage (or if someone is using Periscope when they were told not to). There will still be some live programming though.

The Comic-Con HQ LIVE stage will host interviews with the casts of Orphan Black, Arrow, Teen Wolf, Power Rangers, American Gods, Prison Break, Ash vs. The Evil Dead, The 100 and others. Clark Gregg, Jim Lee, Dave Franco and the new Power Rangers cast will also make appearances.

There will also be breaking news reports and field reports from inside Artists’ Alley and the exhibition floor. In other words, CCHQ LIVE gives you the convention experience you would have if you skipped all the panels and just went for the atmosphere.

CCHQ LIVE coverage is scheduled for 12 p.m.-5 p.m. PST each day of the convention.

After SDCC ends, CCHQ becomes a standard SVOD channel. It was created in a partnership with Lionsgate and also includes a few Lionsgate movies and television shows. There’s also original programming, including the series Con Man with Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion.

It’s unfortunate that the major panels will not be streamed live, but it makes sense. The goal of SDCC is still to give you a reason to go, which would be difficult if everyone could just sit at home and watch the panels.

Seth Laderman, executive Vice President and General Manager of CCHQ, explained to Slash film in April they are working with the studios to get the greenlight to post Hall H panels in their entirety on CCHQ. Laderman said:

We’re going to be working with every single studio, every single panel host to be able to take the content and put it on our platform. We’re not going to be live streaming anything because we really don’t want to take away that experience of people who are the first to see and be there for it, but we can put things up shortly after.

It’s still not clear how soon after a panel ends it will be posted on CCHQ. Studios might want to have their panels edited so they don’t include exclusive footage shown. They want to have control over their promotional campaigns. It’s partly why 20th Century Fox decided to skip SDCC.

Despite Fox’s successful launch of the Deadpool campaign at last year’s SDCC, they wanted to control when the footage shown there reached the general public. But it was leaked, ruining their plans. The same situation happened with Warner Bros. and Suicide Squad, but Warner Bros. will be back this year. It’s a difficult issue. On one hand, you want to give the SDCC crowd a caveat for coming out, but you still want control over promotional material. (Paramount is also skipping SDCC, although it will host a special screening of Star Trek Beyond on Wednesday.)

While CCHQ itself will not be live-streaming panels, you can use Sybound’s Twitch account to stream panels related to Fear The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead and Robert Kirkman. This doesn’t include the main Hall H panels for those two shows.

Marvel is streaming live coverage below: