New Star Trek Series Finds Additional Home at Netflix Which Is Great…For Everyone But the US and Canada
We’ve all been slightly bummed about the exclusivity of the upcoming Bryan Fuller Star Trek series to CBS All Access, many of us not wanting to subscribe to yet another streaming service that may or may not have any other programming we’re interested in. While that remains a problem for fans in the US, it seems that fans outside the US and Canada will have a slightly easier time of getting their Trek on.
As reported by Polygon, CBS has made a deal with Netflix allowing them to stream Star Trek to international audiences. The episodes will be available to Netflix subscribers outside the US and Canada 24-hours after they are made available on CBS All Access. Here in the US, we’ll get the pilot everywhere you can watch CBS, but subsequent episodes will be exclusive to CBS All Access. According to The Verge, Canadian fans will be able to watch Star Trek on Crave TV. And, as is the case here, international fans will now have access to all Star Trek series on Netflix.
While I’m thrilled for international Star Trek fans, I’ve gotta say I’m a little miffed that US fans are being forced to pay for the show just so CBS can shove their streaming service down our throats. Here’s the thing…I’m not into CBS shows. Before Supergirl, there was nothing that CBS aired that I gave a crap about. Despite being a huge Bad Robot fan (as well as a fan of Michael Emerson’s), I’ve never watched Person of Interest, because it “looks like” a CBS show, and those have never been my bag. I feel like at some point I should watch The Good Wife, but again, I’m not feeling the need to do so any time soon.
It’s not as if CBS needs my help. It’s the biggest network on television. What upsets me is that they’re trying to push this service on people when the entire point of streaming services (in addition to making television available without cable) is to have the convenience of programming from multiple networks in one place. I knew when I got Hulu Plus that I’d be able to watch ABC shows, Fox Shows, The CW shows (at the time), and even Showtime shows. On Amazon, I knew I’d have access to CBS shows (and I would’ve bought a Season Pass to Supergirl S2 if it were still on CBS) as well as HBO shows, and my BBC America favorites like Orphan Black and Doctor Who. And Netflix gave me access to shows across networks, past and present. Then, they all started producing original content that was amazing. I watch shows original to all three of those services. Basically, I came for the convenience, and stayed for the quality original programming.
CBS All Access doesn’t provide any real value in a world where CBS still exists as a free network paid for by advertising. I don’t know that many people want to spend extra money on a single-network service when there’s a broadcast counterpart. The reasonable rationale being, “I’m already paying for cable and get CBS as part of that. Why would I also get a streaming service just to get that network’s shows?” Or, “I haven’t needed cable in years, because three streaming services provide all the networks. Why would I spend extra money just for CBS?”
For CBS, the answer seems to be “because Star Trek.” But even this only makes sense if you’re already a regular CBS viewer and want the rest of the programming that would come with the Star Trek (or unless you’re a hardcore Star Trek or Brian Fuller fan). I haven’t heard anything about a change in the deal between CBS and Amazon, so what I’ll likely do is, since I already have Amazon, I’ll watch the Star Trek pilot for free on CBS.com when it premieres, and if I like it (which I probably will), I’ll get a Season Pass to the show on Amazon.
So, basically, that satisfies an Amazon user. It doesn’t make people want to subscribe to CBS All Access.
If broadcast television wants to get in the streaming game, they have to shit or get off the pot. They have to stop playing it safe by trying to have it both ways. Do you believe your network’s programming is worth paying a small monthly fee? Then become a subscription streaming service and trust that people will still care about what you have to offer. If you don’t believe that, then stay a broadcast network, and make your shows available on your regular website for free.
Viewers should only pay for things that offer them a real value. Right now, CBS All Access does not.
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