Ever since the announcement that the new Star Trek series will be aired exclusively on CBS’s new streaming platform, CBS All Access, there has been speculation of Trek‘s departure from competing streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, both of which currently offer the full catalogue of Trek for any subscribed customer’s viewing pleasure. It now appears that Amazon Prime may be the first to lose Trek on February 15th.
UPDATE: While neither Amazon, Netflix, nor CBS have made official comment, we can say that Trek was not pulled from Amazon Prime on February 15th, and the “leaving soon” notice seems to have disappeared from all previously affected Trek series’. It is unclear if a new deal has been reached, if an old deal was ever even set to expire, or indeed if this was all just a big misunderstanding!
Last year, CBS made a lot of fans cry tears of joy when they announced a new Star Trek television* series. Star Trek is coming back to the small screen where it really shines! But some fans were caught off guard by the caveat that came along with that announcement: that they would only be able to watch the new Star Trek series with a paid subscription to CBS All Access, the network’s streaming service.
We’ve talked at length about what the move to streaming only means for CBS and for Trek as a franchise, both here on the website and on our podcast, The Shuttle Pod. One thing that all of us have agreed on is that CBS will likely make moves to make All Access the exclusive home of Star Trek. The fact that they are using the new Trek series to bolster the service indicates their confidence in the Star Trek brand and its ability to bring viewers to the table (or tablet, as it were). But, how do you make CBS All Access as tantalizing as possible? Make it the only place to watch all of the Star Trek catalogue whenever you want, without ads. That means ending licensing contracts between CBS and streaming services (would be competitors) like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Today, folks started noticing real world incarnations of such speculation. Every Star Trek series, minus The Animated Series, is marked to leave Amazon Prime on February 15th.
No word yet on whether (or when) Star Trek will leave Netlflix. The folks over at What’s On Netflix don’t have it listed amongst the shows on Netflix’s chopping block for February.
As we’ve talked about before, this move by CBS is not unexpected. While All Access is the first network-owned streaming service of its kind, other networks are likely to follow suit. Just this month, it was announced that CBS Corp. and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. have discussed creating a paid streaming service for their jointly owned CW network.
In related news, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier will be added to Netflix next month, in a move that suggests the Star Trek movies will be unaffected, at least for now. This could continue to be the case since Paramount, not CBS, owns the rights to all of the Trek films.
So far we’ve been unable to reach CBS, Amazon, or Netflix for official comment. Until that happens, or until a press release is issued, let the speculation continue!