Cable television’s top family drama “Yellowstone” is set to return with an all-new season on Sunday — but you don’t have to have a cable or satellite subscription to watch it.
Season 5 of Yellowstone promises to be the most-explosive season yet, with main protagonist John Dutton set to be sworn in as Montana’s next governor. During his swearing-in ceremony, Dutton promises to defend Montana “against all enemies, foreign and domestic” — but fans of the Tyler Sheridan series know there’s absolutely no doubt that protecting his family and their Yellowstone Rancho will always be at the top of his agenda, no matter the cost.
Dutton’s entire family — Beth, Kayce, Jaime, Monica and Rip — are all set to return alongside him. Some will even serve in his gubernatorial cabinet, while others will be tasked with ensuring his ranch is protected from any threats that may arise.
New episodes of “Yellowstone” are only available on the Paramount Network (older seasons of Yellowstone are exclusive to Comcast’s Peacock, at least for another few years), which means if you want to watch every second of Season 5, you’ll have to get a cable or satellite subscription, right?
There’s plenty of streaming services that also carry Paramount Network and the new season of Yellowstone — and many of them are far cheaper than a traditional cable or satellite package. Even better, they offer robust cloud DVR features and allow you to stream television shows like “Yellowstone” on a bunch of different devices, including phones, tablets and computers. It’s the ultimate blend of convenience and affordability.
Here’s a look at the best streaming services that offer live access to Paramount Network and season 5 of Yellowstone, with the top option being the cheapest (consider all the options, though — some may have additional channels or features that you might like).
Cost: $25 a month
Free trial: Yes (7 days)
Number of channels: More than 60
Cloud DVR: Unlimited, saves recordings for 1 year
Get it: Click or tap here
Simply put, Philo is the CHEAPEST way to watch and record all new episodes of Yellowstone: Season 5 as they air on the Paramount Network every Sunday. Philo offers Paramount Network in its base package of over 60 general entertainment, lifestyle and knowledge channels, and they’ll even give you seven days to try out the service without any commitment — which means you can watch the first episode of Yellowstone: Season 5 (which, on Sunday, whill actually be the first two episodes, since Paramount Network is airing them back-to-back) absolutely free.
West Coast viewers, take note: Philo carries East Coast feeds of its channels, which means Yellowstone: Season 5 will actually air three hours early for you. That’s great news if you don’t want to wait until 8 p.m. to watch the show, but the debut episode of Season 5 also conflicts with NBC’s Sunday Night Football match between the Los Angeles Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers. Not to worry, though — just save “Yellowstone” to Philo’s generous cloud DVR feature, and you can watch or re-watch episodes for a year after they air on TV.
Two things to note about Philo: While the service is supported across most popular phones (Apple, Android), tablets (Apple, Android), smart TV platforms (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV/Google TV, Apple TV, Samsung Tizen OS) and web browsers, it’s not available on any game console. Users of LG (webOS) and Vizio (SmartCast) smart TVs who don’t have a separate streaming device like an Amazon Fire TV or Roku also won’t be able to use Philo without jumping through some hurdles, since there’s no official app for those platforms, either.
Philo’s line-up of channels also doesn’t include live sports across most of its channels (though, occasionally, you will see an NFL game on Nickelodeon), so if you want an all-in-one package, you should consider some of the other options below.
Here’s a tip: If you only want to subscribe to Philo for Yellowstone: Season 5, don’t sign up right away — wait until Sunday morning, so you can really maximize that 7-day free trial. Chances are, you’ll love the service so much that you’ll keep it, but why not give yourself plenty of time to try it out? Also, if you use a LG or Vizio smart TV set, you’ll need something like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV to watch Philo. Pick up the Roku Streaming Stick 4K today for just $25 at your local Best Buy when you order online. No Best Buy around? Try Walmart.
2. Sling TV
Cost: $40 a month (Paramount Network requires separate add-on)
Free trial: Sometimes
Number of channels: 31-41 channels, depending on base package
Cloud DVR: 50 hours for free, 200 hours for extra fee
Get it: Click or tap here
Sling TV was one of the first streaming cable alternatives on the market. The Dish Network-owned streaming service is also available on tons of platforms, with nearly every phone, tablet, smart TV set, game console and streaming device able to access Sling TV’s lineup of live and on-demand channels.
Sling TV is also the most-flexible service, allowing streamers to start with a small base of top-tier entertainment, news and sports channels (Sling Orange, which includes ESPN and Disney, or Sling Blue, which offers Fox, NBC, Fox News and FX) for just $40 a month, then tack on extra news, sports and entertainment channels for small, additional fees.
Unfortunately, at Sling TV, Paramount Network is one of those channels that requires an add-on package. Streamers who want to watch Yellowstone: Season 5 on Sling TV will have to purchase the Comedy Extra add-on package, which costs an extra $6 a month. That means streamers will pay Sling TV at least $46 a month to access Paramount Network and Season 5 of Yellowstone (think of it as a “Yellowstone tax”).
Sling TV’s DVR offering is also not as great as its competitors — the service only allows users to record up to 50 hours of content as part of its base package, and charges an extra $5 a month to expand that to 200 hours. Others, like Philo, don’t charge extra for their cloud DVR storage and offer significantly more storage space.
Still, if you have an LG or Vizio TV set (where Philo isn’t natively offered without an extra streaming device), or you want a mixture of sports and news channels on top of Yellowstone: Season 5, then Sling TV is worth looking at. Just be prepared to pay a bit more.
Here’s a tip: Right now, Sling TV is running a promotion where you can shave $20 off your first month of service — but you have to pay for that first month up-front, which means you don’t get to try it before you buy it. That will bring the price down to $26 a month (Sling Orange or Sling Blue, plus the Comedy Extra add-on), which will unlock a handful of live sports channels that you can’t get on Philo. Just remember — if you want to switch to a cheaper service like Philo, you’ve got to cancel Sling TV before your promotional month is over.
Cost: $60 a month
Free trial: Sometimes (first episode of Yellowstone: Season 5 will be free)
Number of channels: Over 110 in base package
Cloud DVR: Very limited, depends on plan
Get it: Click or tap here
When it comes to streaming cable alternatives, Vidgo often goes overlooked — the new service doesn’t have the same polish or name recognition as some of its peers, but it still has a powerful lineup of entertainment, news and sports channels that makes it worth considering for those who want to watch Yellowstone: Season 5 without cable or satellite.
Unlike Sling TV, Vidgo doesn’t charge extra to watch Yellowstone: Season 5 live on Paramount Network. Unfortunately, Vidgo doesn’t offer a great cloud DVR solution, either — its base package only offers 20 hours of DVR space for the first 90 days of a plan. The good news is, it does allow customers to stream Yellowstone: Season 5 on-demand without any extra fees and without using their cloud DVR space. Even better, the debut weekend of Yellowstone: Season 5 is also a free preview weekend for Vidgo, so you don’t have to commit to a plan to watch the first two episodes of the new season on Sunday.
At $60 a month, Vidgo is more than twice the cost of Philo, but it also has more than twice the number of channels. Unlike Philo, Vidgo also carries a roster of live sports channels, including ESPN, NFL Network, NHL Network, MLB Network, Fox Sports 1 and a bunch of college sports channels. But it doesn’t have NBC-owned channels or the CBS side of the Paramount Global portfolio, so if those are a must for you at that price point, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Vidgo is supported across most major streaming TV platforms (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV/Google TV and Apple TV) and even works with Google Chromecast. Unfortunately, there’s no native Vidgo app for Samsung, LG or Vizio smart TV sets, so if you don’t have a separate streaming device (like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV), you probably won’t be able to use the service on your TV set without jumping through some hoops.
Here’s a tip: Vidgo works better if you use a Roku device. Right now, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K is on sale for just $25, and you can even pick one up at your local Best Buy when you order online.
4. YouTube TV
Cost: $65 a month
Free trial: Yes (between 7 and 14 days, depending on when you sign up)
Number of channels: Over 80 in base package
Cloud DVR: Unlimited, saves recordings for 9 months
Get it: Click or tap here
YouTube TV is the true cable or satellite replacement on our list — it offers local ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates in most areas, access to a live stream of local PBS member stations and has the best mix of general entertainment, sports, news and children’s channels. It even includes Paramount Network in its base package, and will save an unlimited amount of shows and movies for at least nine months.
Unlike Philo, which offers East Coast feeds across all its channels, YouTube TV does offer time-shift networks in the western part of the United States — which means some people will have to wait until 8 p.m. to watch Yellowstone: Season 5 on Paramount Network. But that won’t be a big deal to people who are watching NBC’s Sunday Night Football, which is also carried on YouTube TV, and flipping back and forth between those channels will be super simple.
YouTube TV is widely available across a number of devices, including all popular streaming TV platforms (Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV/Google TV and Roku) as well as on phones, tablets and computers. There’s even a YouTube TV app for those who stream movies and shows on their Samsung, LG and Vizio TVs without a separate device, so you really can’t go wrong with YouTube TV.
People who just want to watch Paramount Network and Yellowstone: Season 5 at the best-possible price should still strongly consider Philo or Sling TV, especially if they already receive their local broadcast stations with an antenna and don’t feel the need to watch anything else on cable. But those who want an actual, full-feature cable replacement without cable pricing should go for YouTube TV.
Here’s a tip: YouTube TV is one of the few services that will let you customize your TV guide. You can sort channels alphabetically or even move channels around so your most-watched channels are at the top of your guide.
Other Services to Consider
- Fubo TV: At $70 a month, Fubo TV is far from the cheapest service around, but it does offer a good mixture of general entertainment, lifestyle, local broadcast and cable news channels, including Paramount Network. Streamers who want a ton of top-tier sports should consider Fubo TV, but those who simply want a cheap way to watch Paramount Network and Yellowstone: Season 5 have better choices.
- DirecTV Stream: DirecTV stream used to be one of the best values in streaming cable alternates, but a series of price hikes and channel shuffling across packages has eroded a lot of its value. It’s not worth considering simply to watch Yellowstone: Season 5 on Paramount Network, but people who are thinking about cutting the cord might want to consider DirecTV Stream’s promotion of a lower monthly bill when bundled with a DirecTV Stream box.
- Hulu with Live TV: The Disney-owned service carries Paramount Network in its base package of channels, which costs $70 a month. That price is going up to $75 a month in December — and no one wants a price hike in the middle of their favorite show. That said, Hulu with Live TV comes with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus at no extra cost, as well as Hulu’s on-demand library (supported by ads), so if you’ve already got one or all three of those services, it might be worth considering.
- Cable TV: I know, it sounds crazy, but cable TV might actually be the cheapest way to get Paramount Network, depending on where you live. Some cable companies, including Comcast, have “limited basic” or “digital starter” tiers; while channels vary from place to place, some do include Paramount Network at a pretty low price. Just be careful — cable companies are known to include hidden surcharges like local broadcast fees that are impossible to avoid, and service contracts can make a cheap, short-term solution turn into an expensive, long-term nightmare.
- Amazon Prime Video: If you absolutely don’t want cable for anything (i.e., you watch broadcast TV and use free streaming news services), you’ll save a lot of money by just purchasing Season 5 outright on a video store like Amazon Prime Video. Each season of Yellowstone will run about $30 to $40, depending on sales. One upside is that you own a licensed copy of each season, and there’s no commercial interruptions. One downside is that new episodes become available to stream or download one day after they air on Paramount Network, so there’s a bit of a wait. Still, for people who don’t want recurring bills and have no use for other cable channels, this is a very cost-effective way to stream episodes of Yellowstone.
Is “Yellowstone” Available on Paramount Plus?
No. At least, not quite yet.
New episodes of Yellowstone — including all of Season 5 — are only avaliable to watch on Paramount Network, which is a cable channel. It is different from Paramount Plus, which is a streaming service.
Past episodes of Yellowstone are also not available on Paramount Plus, because they were licensed years ago to Comcast’s streaming service Peacock. Viewers who want to “catch up” on Yellowstone will have to subscribe to Peacock’s Premium tier, which costs $5 a month (ad-supported) or $10 a month (ad-free). Some Comcast Xfinity customers get Peacock Premium for free.
The Yellowstone prequel, “1883,” is only available on Paramount Plus, which starts at $5 a month. The same will be true for Yellowstone’s other prequel, “1923,” when it debuts soon.
So, in a nutshell:
- If you want to watch Sesaon 5 of Yellowstone, you need access to Paramount Network
- If you want to watch Seasons 1-4 of Yellowstone, you need to subscribe to Peacock
- If you want to watch Yellowstone prequels like 1883 or 1923, you need to subscribe to Paramount Plus
In a few years, this whole mess will be sorted out — executives at Paramount Global say they fully intend to reclaim streaming rights to Yellowstone for Paramount Plus, which will be extremely convenient for subscribers — one streaming place for all things Yellowstone. But, at least for a few more years, we’ll just have to deal with this chaos.