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‘Cobra Kai’ will be available to watch for free on YouTube
Great news for ‘Karate Kid’ fans.
Cobra Kai has been, by far, YouTube’s most successful original series. Pretty soon, you’ll have the chance to watch it for free.
At its upfront presentation on Thursday, YouTube said the Karate Kid franchise reboot that stars many of the original characters and brings them into the 21st century will be made available for anybody to watch—whether or not you have a YouTube Premium subscription.
Beginning Sept. 11, the second season will be made available for free in an ad-supported environment with one episode released per week. From Aug. 29-Sept. 11, the entire first season can also be binge-watched without you having to pay a single cent.
YouTube also announced on Thursday that it had ordered a third season of Cobra Kai that will be released in 2020.
“For today’s viewers, primetime is personal and our content resonates so strongly due to the diversity and richness of our unmatched library and platform capabilities,” YouTube’s Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl said. “While every other media company is building a paywall, we are headed in the opposite direction and now have more opportunities than ever to partner with advertisers and share our critically- acclaimed originals with our global audience.”
In November, it was reported that YouTube would make most of its original programming free. Cobra Kai—the first season of which has a perfect 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (the second season has a still strong rating of 85%)—was a notable exception.
Now, you’ll get a window to watch it for free anyway.
The success of the first season of Cobra Kai stunned stars Ralph Macchio and Billy Zabka, and in March, Macchio told the Daily Dot that the success of the series “was above and beyond. You never really know where it will land. There are butterflies jumping into the pool, not knowing how cold that water is.”
Zabka, meanwhile, joked that the series was “ready to go another 12 years.”
That’s unlikely, but for now, fans can rest assured that a third year is going to happen.
Other YouTube Originals that will make more content include the third season for Kevin Hart’s What The Fit, a second season of Impulse, and a second season of Liza on Demand starring Liza Koshy.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.