Cobra Kai is officially moving from YouTube Premium to Netflix ahead of its upcoming season 3.
Netflix has acquired the exclusive streaming rights to the third season of the Karate Kid sequel series, starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka. The new season has no exact release date yet, but season 1 and season 2 are now set to stream on the platform on a non-exclusive basis later this year, allowing fans to catch up on the show before its highly anticipated season 3 premiere.
Cobra Kai studio Sony Pictures TV started to shop the series to other streamers after YouTube revealed its intention to shift from an SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand) to AVOD (advertising-based video on demand) model and away from original scripted programming to double down on unscripted fare. YouTube was committed to airing the show’s already complete season 3, but when it notified Sony TV that it would not renew the series for a fourth season, the studio asked for permission to shop the upcoming season to an outlet that, in success, could order additional seasons.
All major streamers expressed interest in getting the streaming rights to season 3, but in the end, it was Netflix that acquired the series, thanks to its financial commitment, huge subscriber base, global reach, and passion for the material. Though the recent deal between Netflix and Sony TV is for Cobra Kai only, the two parties have reportedly discussed the possibility of expanding the Cobra Kai franchise with other Karate Kid series.
Set over 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament in the Karate Kid film series, Cobra Kai follows a now successful Daniel LaRusso (Macchio) who struggles to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of Mr. Miyagi, and must face his previous adversary Johnny Lawrence (Zabka), who seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo.
Created by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg, Cobra Kai also stars Martin Kove as sensei John Kreese, Xolo Maridueña as Miguel Diaz, Courtney Henggeler as Amanda LaRusso, Tanner Buchanan as Robby Keene, Mary Mouser as Samantha LaRusso, and Jacob Bertrand as Eli Moskowitz/Hawk, among many others.