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New “Yellowstone” Prequel Creates Interesting Challenge For Paramount Plus

Jeff Kotuby

During Super Bowl LV, a teaser trailer was revealed for the newest Yellowstone property, Y:1883, streaming exclusively on Paramount+. Yellowstone is the highly popular series on ViacomCBS-owned Paramount Network.

But, due to a previous licensing deal to Peacock, if you want to stream Yellowstone, you will have to stream it there instead. All episodes come to Peacock a few months after the season ends on linear TV.

This creates a challenge for Paramount+. If you’ve never seen Yellowstone, you have to go to an entirely different streaming service to get the full story. Or, if you liked “Y:1883” so much, you must sign up for Peacock to complete the story.

While the Yellowstone scenario isn’t unprecedented in a world rights agreements, it can create a challenging situation, for what is a premier property for ViacomCBS. The company also exclusively licensed South Park to HBO Max last year. They share the streaming rights to various properties like “Chappelle’s Show,” “Key & Peele,” “Reno 911,” “Nathan for You” and “Inside Amy Schumer.”

CBS All Access (which will become Paramount+) is currently $5.99 for the ad-supported version and $9.99 for the ad-free version, but the company still hasn’t mentioned if those prices will stick upon the reboot. For a limited time, you can get your first year 50% OFF (or just $2.50 a month) if you sign-up before the service launches on March 4th.

The new addition to Paramount+ comes on the heels of a recent agreement between ViacomCBS, MTV Entertainment Group, and series creator Taylor Sheridan. According to a news release, “Sheridan will create exclusive multi-platform content with MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios under the multi-year pact which includes five cycles per year of scripted and procedural series. Content will be exclusive to ViacomCBS including but not limited to Paramount Network, Paramount+, CBS and other VCBS brands and platforms.”

Y: 1883 follows the Dutton family as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains toward the last bastion of untamed America. It is a stark retelling of Western expansion, and an intense study of one family fleeing poverty to seek a better future in America’s promised land — Montana. The series builds on Paramount+ key strategy to franchise marquee shows and IP for which MTV Entertainment Studios will be a major supplier. It will be executive produced by Sheridan, John Linson, Art Linson, David Glasser, David Hutkin, and Bob Yari.

Formerly, CBS All Access, Paramount+ rebranded itself in a broader effort to make the service a more direct competition for other streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, and HBO Max. With the relaunch, Paramount+ is getting additional content, including 30,000+ TV episodes and movies from the company’s vast library of properties from brands like BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and more.

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