‘Planet of the Apes’ Marathon Brings Record Viewing to Sinclair’s Comet

Comet Sinclair Planet of the Ape
(Image credit: Sinclair Broadcast Group)

Those digital over-the-air networks aren’t monkeying around anymore.

Sinclair Broadcast Group said its free over-the-air digital broadcast network Comet scored its highest ratings since its launch in 2015 with a marathon of Planet of the Apes films.

The April 3 marathon delivered 1.5 million total viewers from 5 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. ET, a record for the diginet., illustrating that cord-cutters aren’t just streaming but are using atenneas to get broadcast channels.

Comet, which focuses on science-fiction programming, broadcast Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes and Escape from the Planet of the Apes

The marathon boosted Comet’s demographic ratings, with a 155% jump in adults 18-49, a 133% increase in adults 25-54 and a 96% gain among adults 35 to 64. Viewers over 50 nearly tripled, up 180%.

The results were so good that Comet is planning additional airings of its Planet of the Apes marathon on April 9, April 15 and April 23.

"While it's been widely recognized that viewers are leaving cable for OTT, it's important to  note viewers are also moving to new, free OTA broadcast networks, and 1.5 million viewers  is proof of this,”  said Adam Ware VP, Growth Networks and Content at Sinclair.  

“Comet is just getting started, and the network's line up of hit franchises  like Planet of the Apes, The X-Files, Quantum Leap, Farscape and more new fan favorite  series to be announced soon, reaffirm our commitment to delivering the best sci-fi  franchises for fans,” he said. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.