While Rocky was an immediate hit when it opened in theaters in 1976, grossing millions of dollars and earning the Academy Award for Best Picture, what really cemented the franchise’s popularity were endless reairings — often in back-to-back marathons — on cable television. It seemed like just about every weekend during the 1990s, some channel was showing some configuration of Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, and Rocky V. (The fact that each sequel began with the final fight from the previous film made them a little repetitive to watch in a row — until someone hit upon the brilliant idea of trimming that sequence out of cable reairings.)
If you miss those bygone days you can now recreate them in the streaming era as Pluto TV has announced a new 24/7 channel called “Pluto TV Rocky” showing nothing but Rocky movies on an endless loop. And even better than the old ’90s version, they’ve got the sixth film, Rocky Balboa as well. (That one wasn’t even made until 2006.) The channel launches on Pluto TV tomorrow, March 1. Like all of Pluto’s programming it is free for viewers with ads. (It really is like watching Rocky on basic cable in 1995!) You’ll get to watch Sylvester Stallone’s Italian Stallion go from unknown club fighter in Philadelphia to the champion of the world, to an aging restaurant owner hungry to prove he can still hang over and over and over and over again.
In addition to the Rocky channel, Pluto TV will be adding a channel dedicated to the classic anime series Sailor Moon. In addition, the recently-produced 13th season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, which will join the programming on MST3K’s already running Pluto TV channel. (That’s one of my favorite Pluto channels, to be honest.) All seven seasons of Star Trek: Voyager are also coming to Pluto’s Star Trek channel as well.
The limited-run Rocky channel’s timing is fortuitous (and surely not coincidental) as Creed III opens in theaters everywhere this weekend.
Every Rocky and Creed Movie Ranked From Worst to Best
It’s the best sports movie franchise in history — but the Rocky and Creed series have had their highs and lows. Here they are:
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