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The Way Peacock Is Using 'Yellowstone' to Screw Over Paramount Is Hysterical

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 29, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 29, 2023 |


Over the summer, Suits became — and currently remains — the most watched series on Netflix, and therefore, probably the most watched series in the United States right now. The hilarious irony is that Suits had already been playing on Peacock for years because NBC/Universal owns the show. Netflix and its 200 million worldwide subscribers, however, have much more power than Peacock to put a series on the map.

But turnabout is fair play, although in this case, Peacock seems to be taking its frustrations out on Paramount. Five years ago, when Yellowstone premiered on the Paramount network, Paramount+ did not yet exist. When Peacock launched nearly a year before Paramount+, it had licensed the most popular show on linear television to bring in new subscribers.

Nearly a year later, when Paramount+ launched, it hilariously could not put its most popular series on its own platform. Paramount+ ended up building a platform around Taylor Sheridan series, including two Yellowstone spin-offs, but it could not stream the parent series. In fact, when Paramount+ announced that Yellowstone would be ending and relaunching as a Matthew McConaughey series, I’m sure that Paramount+ felt some relief that it could essentially continue the series and finally stream it on its own platform.

Cut to 2023, and the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strikes. In order to fill space on their broadcast network during a content dry spell, CBS began re-airing Yellowstone from the beginning. The show is so popular that episodes that were five years old once again became the most-watched show of the week, fetching upwards of 6.6 million viewers a week. For reruns. Theoretically, this should be a perfect time to move those CBS viewers over to Paramount+ so they can finish the series, except, again, Paramount doesn’t own the streaming rights.

Peacock does! And what does Peacock do? It runs commercials on CBS during Yellowstone, telling viewers if they don’t want to wait a week to watch the next episode, they can subscribe to Peacock and watch every episode available immediately. Paramount is helpless to stop it!

The result: Viewership of Yellowstone grew by 26 percent on Peacock. Well done, Peacock.

Another smart move Peacock can make is to pick up the recently canceled Heels and renew it for a third season to stream along with all the wrestling content on the platform.

All episodes of Yellowstone are currently exclusively available on Peacock.

Source: Variety