ViacomCBS is beaming Star Trek: Discovery out of Netflix at midnight today, Dominic Patten of Deadline reports. The Manhattan-based media conglomerate ended a four-year deal with the service to stream most of Star Trek to over 190 countries in favor of carrying them on Paramount+, the broadcasting giant’s native subscription app. The streamer once known as CBS All Access was previously only available in North America and is expected to roll out globally in 45 countries by the end of the year. Paramount’s hefty Star Trek catalog is among the many IPs currently scheduled to move out.
Unfortunately, 45 countries is a minuscule number compared to the massive reach Star Trek used to have when housed by Netflix. Pulling the whole franchise out of the streamer means millions of dedicated viewers from 190 countries will no longer have access to Star Trek until sometime next year. Even worse, international fans would have to pay for an entirely different service to continue watching their favorite shows. Star Trek: Discovery is a chief casualty of the ViacomCBS decision, having aired exclusively on Netflix for non-American audiences since its first season all the way back in 2017. Check out Paramount’s official Twitter statement below:
The Alex Kurtzman-led series was supposed to release its fourth season on Paramount+ for U.S. subscribers and CTV’s Sci-Fi Channel for Canada on Thursday — and Netflix for international Trekkies the day after — when the latter lost its stake in everything Star Trek earlier today. The new season of Star Trek: Discovery will still premiere on Paramount+ for those with access, while most of the world will have to wait till 2022 for the app to expand to the 190 countries Netflix currently services.
Star Trek: Discovery marked record subscriptions for then-CBS All Access, boasting around 9.5 million hits on its pilot episode alone. With the immediate loss of its international market tonight, the show is poised to suffer a significant dip in views. Moreover, most of the non-American demographic isn’t keen on spending extra on a separate streamer when one or two all-encompassing ones already cost enough. This implies ViacomCBS’s pullout may lead to permanent losses in terms of paid and lasting memberships.
To its credit, ViacomCBS’s international arm remains optimistic in its odds. Kelly Day, head of ViacomCBS Networks International, tells Deadline in a statement: “As we rapidly expand our global streaming footprint, we are bringing more of our top titles home to ViacomCBS for Paramount+ markets around the world. We have a strong global and local content pipeline that positions us for success across our regions, and repatriating beloved series like Star Trek: Discovery for Paramount+ is another step forward as we bring fans more must-watch series worldwide.”
Star Trek: Discovery isn’t the only Trek property expected to come home to Paramount toward the start of 2022. With the Netflix deal fully paid off and ViacomCBS determined to finally come into its own, both old and new Star Trek entries are primed to bid other streamers goodbye. The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and Enterprise are still available for foreign audiences but have already left their U.S. Netflix equivalent. Picard and Lower Decks are still being offered internationally on Amazon Prime Video, but it’s only a matter of time before ViacomCBS’s restructuring process nabs them too. The same goes for Prodigy, which already premiered its first season on Paramount+ and will be made viewable on Nickelodeon prior to the release of season two. Talk about boldly going nowhere in pursuit of strange new worlds.