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Yellowstone’s finale will not stream on Paramount Plus, sorry


Kevin Costner stars in Yellowstone, which was the most-watched scripted present on cable TV final yr.  

Paramount Community

Yellowstone is, by far, Paramount Community’s largest hit. It is also one of many largest hits on cable, interval. Final yr’s cliffhanger finale drew the largest viewers of any scripted TV present on cable in 2020, with 7.6 million viewers watching it. Its fourth season premiere in November practically doubled, with 14.7 million viewers. And for anybody hoping to atone for previous seasons or watch the finale as quickly because it hits, streaming service Paramount Plus would appear just like the pure place to show. 

However counterintuitively, the one present most related to the Paramount title is nowhere to be discovered on Paramount Plus. 

If you wish to stream Yellowstone’s finale, then you definately’ll have to attempt unlocking the Paramount Community app, not Paramount Plus. If you wish to binge Yellowstone’s again catalog, you possibly can mosey over to Paramount Plus rival Peacock, which has an unique deal to be the one subscription streaming service with the primary three seasons. And after the fourth season concludes, finally that complete batch of Yellowstone episodes will transfer over to a subscription streaming service — however once more, it will be Peacock. 

As complicated as that’s, it is by design. Yellowstone is not the one high-profile ViacomCBS title lacking from Paramount Plus and streaming elsewhere: In case you’re searching for Comedy Central’s South Park, for instance, you should take a look at HBO Max. Content material licensing is an enormous enterprise for ViacomCBS, and so is the income generated by having a success present on a standard cable community like Paramount Community. ViacomCBS positioned a wager that some top-shelf packages can earn more money — and attain extra eyeballs — in the event that they’re out there someplace aside from Paramount Plus, even when it means an enormous Paramount present like Yellowstone is not on Paramount Plus in any respect. 

Like the remaining within the parade of latest streaming companies — together with Disney Plus, HBO Max, Apple TV Plus, Peacock and Discovery Plus — Paramount Plus hopes its personal explicit concoction of TV and films will hook you by itself imaginative and prescient for TV’s future. However byzantine licensing offers like Yellowstone’s underscore that even when a brand new service like Paramount Plus launches by rallying round its personal content material, that does not essentially make it easier so that you can discover and watch your favourite reveals and films on-line. 

The place you can stream Yellowstone

The principle distinction to grasp relating to find out how to stream Yellowstone is that Paramount Plus is totally different from Paramount Community, which is the place Yellowstone will run its finale Sunday. 

On Paramount Plus, you possibly can’t stream Yellowstone — outdated episodes or new ones — in any respect. 

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Paramount Community is a standard cable channel out there to individuals who pay for it by way of a live-TV supplier. Paramount Community’s reveals and films, together with the newest episodes of Yellowstone, can be found to stream on the net at paramountnetwork.com or its Paramount Community app. However usually these can be found to stream just for these people who find themselves paying for the channel already with a live-TV subscription, reminiscent of cable, satellite tv for pc or a live-channel streaming service like YouTube TV or Philo. 

One exception: Paramount put the primary episode of Yellowstone’s fourth season outdoors its paywall, so anyone is ready to stream this episode — titled Half the Cash — free on Paramount Community’s app or web site. If you wish to watch some other episodes of the fourth season, you will want to enroll in a pay-TV subscription. (Philo, talked about above, is without doubt one of the most cost-effective on-line choices to get entry to Paramount Community; it additionally gives a weeklong free trial.)

So if you wish to stream the finale or some other episodes from Yellowstone’s fourth season, the one place to stream them at first will likely be on Paramount Community’s channel, web site or app. And Yellowstone finale will likely be out there to stream just for “authenticated” on-line viewers — that’s, individuals who can log in with their live-TV service’s credentials to show they’re already paying for Paramount Community. 

If you wish to binge earlier seasons of Yellowstone, the Paramount Community app and web site have these too.

However in case you’re a cord-cutter or in any other case do not have entry to Paramount Community, then you should go to Peacock to stream the primary three seasons. The fourth season will stream on Peacock finally too. Peacock hasn’t introduced the timing that it’s going to start streaming Yellowstone’s fourth season but, however you possibly can anticipate will probably be someday after the season finale on Paramount Community — possible, will probably be months after the finale. 

So what does Paramount Plus even have associated to Yellowstone? Spinoffs. On Dec. 19, Paramount Plus started streaming a prequel titled 1883, which focuses on the Dutton household greater than a century in the past as they transfer west and set up the Yellowstone Ranch. And on Nov. 14, Paramount Plus premiered Mayor of Kingstown, a drama sequence co-created by Yellowstone’s creator Taylor Sheridan; whereas Mayor of Kingstown is not immediately tied to Yellowstone, Paramount Plus is pitching it as a little bit of a religious spinoff. 

Why you possibly can’t stream Yellowstone on Paramount Plus

Each new streaming service launching out of Hollywood makes its personal judgment about how a lot, and what, to maintain for itself. Some streaming companies have been aggressive in getting their titles again to their very own companies. 

Disney has been agency in letting its offers expire for something it beforehand licensed out to different companies. That included a significant deal that permit Netflix stream Disney’s theatrical motion pictures for an estimated $200 million to $300 million a yr over 4 years. However Disney Plus wished to develop into a dependable hub for its personal catalog, so Disney let that Netflix deal run out and stopped buying these blockbusters to rival companies.

NBCUniversal, along with licensing Yellowstone for its Peacock service, gained the rights to its personal present The Workplace again from Netflix firstly of 2021 so Peacock may stream the sitcom completely. 

And WarnerMedia’s HBO Max has repeatedly clawed again rights to all eight Harry Potter motion pictures from NBCUniversal and Peacock. WarnerMedia’s Warner Bros. licensed all these motion pictures to NBCUniversal years in the past in an epic deal. That put NBCUniversal’s Peacock in line to stream them somewhat than HBO Max. However WarnerMedia has sometimes snagged them again, efforts to spice up HBO Max with a preferred franchise. 

Paramount Plus, nonetheless, has been way more prepared to license its prime titles elsewhere. 

A part of the reason being that licensing out titles could be a profitable enterprise. Thus far this yr, ViacomCBS made $4.6 billion from licensing, nearly 1 / 4 of the corporate’s complete income. That cash comes from an array of licenses, from TV syndication to Paw Patrol stuffed animals and costumes. However a part of additionally it is farming out titles like Yellowstone, South Park and others to Paramount Plus’ direct rivals. If you grant your individual programming to your individual service completely, you forsake piles of that cash you could possibly’ve hauled in in case you’d licensed it to another person. 

And ViacomCBS has an enormous again catalog to faucet into: roughly 140,000 TV episodes and 4,000 movies. The corporate does not need all that on Paramount Plus. 

“We won’t maintain all that for ourself. It does not make sense,” CEO Bob Bakish stated a yr in the past, as Paramount Plus was making ready for launch. “It is an excessive amount of.”

Bakish has repeatedly stated the corporate’s technique is “evolving” when it comes to how a lot of its personal programming it ought to license and the way a lot it ought to maintain for itself. The corporate’s licensing technique has “shifted to develop into way more centered” on having its personal franchises by itself streaming service, he stated in November. However the “legacy offers” the corporate struck earlier than the launch of Paramount Plus can have an extended tail, he added. 

Nonetheless, past the cash ViacomCBS makes by licensing, Paramount Plus additionally believes it might be able to draw in additional new members if it lets different, greater companies have a few of its titles to stream. Bakish has famous that different platforms can develop the viewers for an older present in order that its reboots and spinoffs have an even bigger fan base for Paramount Plus. 

It is a perverse type of logic. However Netflix has greater than 213 million subscribers worldwide, whereas Paramount Plus has fewer — most likely far fewer — than 47 million. ViacomCBS is betting that renting the again catalog of Nickelodeon’s iCarly to Netflix might assist spark a wider fandom, which in flip could also be drawn to Paramount Plus for its unique reboot of the sequence. Curiosity in Avatar: The Final Airbender surged final yr when the present hit Netflix, definitely serving to encourage ViacomCBS’ choice to launch a whole new studio devoted to recent Avatar-related programming. 

However that technique additionally signifies that for brand spanking new followers of Yellowstone prequel 1883 on Paramount Plus, as they watch the chronicles of the Dutton household’s arrival in Montana greater than a century in the past, they will have to go elsewhere to determine who the Duttons even are. 

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