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How to watch ‘Cobra Kai’: ‘The Karate Kid’ series on Netflix


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  • The first two seasons of “Cobra Kai” are now available to stream on Netflix.
  • “Cobra Kai” originally premiered as a YouTube Premium exclusive series before Netflix acquired the rights to the show.
  • The series picks up three decades after the events of “The Karate Kid” movie series, and features the return of franchise stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka.
  • A third season of “Cobra Kai” is set to premiere exclusively on Netflix in January 2021.
  • A Netflix Basic subscription currently costs $8.99 a month, while the Standard plan costs $12.99 per month, and the Premium plan costs $15.99 per month.

Showing no mercy to its streaming competitors with a swift sweep to the leg, Netflix has picked up the rights to “Cobra Kai.” The series continues the story that originated in 1986’s “The Karate Kid,” offering an entertaining blend of action, drama, comedy, and ’80s nostalgia. Though the first two seasons debuted on YouTube Premium, upcoming new episodes will now stream exclusively on Netflix.

“Cobra Kai” stars William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence, a middle-aged handyman who decides to open a karate dojo like the one he trained in as a teenager. Johnny’s politically incorrect teaching style catches the attention of his former high school classmate Daniel LaRusso, reigniting their decades’ old rivalry. Xolo Maridueña, Mary Mouser, Tanner Buchanan, Jacob Bertrand, Nichole Brown, and Martin Kove also star.

“Cobra Kai” season one premiered on YouTube Premium in 2018, and a second season followed in 2019. Though a third season had been ordered, YouTube has since decided to shift its focus to unscripted content. As a result, the show’s next season has been picked up by Netflix.

Updated on 10/5/2020 by Steven Cohen: This article has been revised to include the season three release date for “Cobra Kai.” Added details on how to watch “The Karate Kid” movies on Showtime.

How to watch “Cobra Kai”

“Cobra Kai” seasons one and two are now available to watch on Netflix. To stream “Cobra Kai” on Netflix you’ll need a subscription to the service. 

A Netflix Basic plan costs $8.99 a month, and offers standard definition (SD) streaming on one device. A Netflix Standard plan costs $12.99 a month, and includes high definition (HD) streaming with support for two devices at the same time. Finally, a Netflix Premium plan costs $15.99 a month, and steps things up to 4K HDR streaming with support for up to four devices at the same time.

The first two seasons of “Cobra Kai” are also still currently available to stream through YouTube Premium, and the first two episodes of season one are available to stream for free on YouTube. A YouTube Premium subscription costs $11.99 a month. With that said, the upcoming third season of “Cobra Kai” will not be available on YouTube and will instead be exclusive to Netflix. If you’re deciding between the services and your decision is primarily based on watching “Cobra Kai,” we recommend going with Netflix so you can tune into new episodes next year.

Beyond subscription streaming services, “Cobra Kai” season one and season two are also available to buy or rent digitally through a variety of streaming retailers, including Amazon. HD episodes of the show currently cost $2.99 each on Amazon, while full seasons cost $9.99.

“Cobra Kai” season 3 release date

The third season of “Cobra Kai” will premiere exclusively on Netflix on January 8, 2021. Season three is expected to include 10 episodes. A fourth season of “Cobra Kai” is also in development.

Netflix released the first trailer for the show’s third season on October 2. Though brief, the trailer offers a quick look at some of the show’s main characters following the season two cliff-hanger.

How to watch “The Karate Kid” movies

If you’re interested in catching up on the story of Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence before streaming “Cobra Kai,” you can now watch the first three “Karate Kid” movies on Showtime.

A Showtime subscription is available through various cable providers, or as a standalone streaming service. Showtime streaming costs $10.99 a month and new members can receive a free 30-day trial. 

“The Karate Kid” and its sequels are also available to rent or buy digitally through a variety of streaming retailers, including Amazon, Vudu, FandangoNow, Google Play, and Apple TV.

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Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.

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