‘Star Trek’ To Have Pay TV Premiere On New Viacom Channel

If you have HBO or Showtime and were hoping to see JJ Abrams Star Trek film on either, you are out of luck. Today Viacom (parent company of Paramount Pictures) announced a joint venture with MGM, UA and Lionsgate forming a new premium cable channel with exclusive rights for all four studios. The not-yet-named channel launches in the Fall of 2009 and the official press release names the new Trek movie as one of the ‘exclusives.’

Films from all four studios will have their exclusive pay per view (video on demand) and pay TV ‘windows’ with the new cable channel. So even though other channels may eventually get access to the films, they will always premiere first on Viacom/UA/MGM/Lionsgate Channel (surely the will come up with a catchier name). This new competitor to HBO and Showtime will also have access to the Paramount film library including the previous Trek features.

Mentions of Star Trek are all over the press release

The new venture will have access to Paramount and Paramount Vantage titles released theatrically on or after January 1, 2008 and MGM, United Artists and Lionsgate titles released theatrically on or after January 1, 2009. The venture’s programming slate will have exclusive access during the pay television window to such recent and highly anticipated films as Iron Man, Star Trek, Pink Panther 2, Cloverfield, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Shutter Island, GI Joe, Love Guru, and Valkyrie, along with many others currently in production including planned new installments of Robocop and Outer Limits.

In addition, the new venture will have access to motion picture titles spanning the vast libraries of the five studios, which libraries include Braveheart, Forrest Gump and the Mission: Impossible, The Godfather and Star Trek franchises from Paramount; the James Bond, Pink Panther and Rocky franchises from MGM; and Dirty Dancing, Reservoir Dogs, Crash, Monster’s Ball, the Saw franchise, the Tyler Perry catalogue and The Blair Witch Project from Lionsgate. The new venture will also feature new original television series created by the five studios.

Paramount President Brad Grey is also quoted on the venture, again mentioning Trek

For close to a century, Paramount has produced and distributed some of America’s best-known and beloved films – a tradition that continues today, with an outstanding lineup set through 2009. That commitment to great entertainment is matched by Paramount’s focus on creating new and innovative platforms that offer more access and flexibility to consumers. We look forward to launching this historic premium entertainment service with a strong slate that includes new releases like Cloverfield, Iron Man, and Star Trek alongside Paramount’s legendary library.

Showtime out of luck
News of this venture cannot be welcome at CBS (home of the Showtime network). Showtime currently has deals with Paramount and the other studios in the venture…all of which will lapse by the time the new channel launches. This new venture signals that there may be growing tensions between former corporate siblings, Paramount and CBS (which were both part of Viacom before the company split apart in 2006). According to The Hollywood Reporter, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves was just briefed on the venture today. The LA Times asked Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman about the competition with CBS, to which Dauman replied “Our job here, as is Leslie’s job at CBS, is to drive the strategies of our own companies.”…ouch. Deadline Hollywood has more on how the new venture ‘royally screws’ CBS and Moonves.

Of course by the time the channel launches, it is likely that the new Star Trek film will have been released on DVD (and Blu Ray), but a pay channel with exclusive rights to the Trek library may be a must-have addition to any Trekkie’s cable TV package.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Well, that kind of sucks.

Hip Hip Cheerio !!!! A new format war!!!!!! The last one worked out so well !!!! Another brilliant move to please the fans !!!!!!!

If I like the movie I’ll probably buy the DVD anyway. So no big deal to me.

On my Dish system, most of the premium channels (as I imagine this new one will) show movies in pan and scan format anyway (YECH!). Hopefully that will change with the digital TV rollout next year. The combination of MGMs and Paramounts’ movie libraries will make it a jewel in the premium station crown, though. If my system does/doesn’t get the new premium station? Oh well. If a movie is REALLY that good, I’ll buy the DVD.

Nothing beats the silver screen !


People still watch television?

Yeah, i wonder. This incredibly primitive kind of entertainment is clearly outdated by now. :P

Pink Panther 2, Love Guru… um, I can’t quite see spending the bucks for the first go-around, let alone for the ‘bragging rights’ of getting them on pay-per-view.

As for Trek, I’m glad it’s prominently mentioned in this release, although the thought of yet another pay-per-view channel makes me run to my computer. TV? Yes, I vaguely remember it.

Paramount/Star Trek has an awesome history of starting networks and blazing TV tech trails. Just look at Star Trek Phase II in the 70’s, UPN in the 90’s, and their support of the HD-DVD format. They make all the right calls!

Eh, I’m sure I’ll be getting the DVD so I can’t bring myself to care. I don’t think I ever watched a movie on HBO or Showtime, so this isn’t going to matter to me in the slightest.

Tell us good stories. Stop calculating what we’ll react to and how many times we’ll buy it.

I honestly have a pile of books and I even know how to work a computer. Pay-per-view TV? What’s in it for me?

Oh Gee- another channel to watch of nothing on. Pass. Any other good ideas guys?

Boo! You wouldn’t believe how many movies I just plain old don’t have time to see that I end up having to watch on pay TV. (Obviously, this won’t be a problem with ST and IM, but Cloverfield…)

Blegh… I haven’t heard a single intelligent decision come from Paramount/Viacom in YEARS… why start now?

Just another thing to reinforce my belief the suits don’t even bother asking (or caring, for that matter) what the fans actually want or care about.

If this channel is going to be available in HD, I might actually be willing to watch it.

So….now we’re going to have this channel along with skinemax and the other channels I don’t have.

This venture is going to fail, the most successful movie channels are successful because of original programming. Showtime has a lot going for it; it’ll be fine.


Surprisingly, yes, people still do watch TV. This is contrary to the fact that most everything has migrated to the internet in some fashion, however legally or not.

I love the internet. Why can’t we just move this channel to it? That’d make life much easier.

Well they seem to be touting Star Trek quite a bit. That’s good news to me!

If this new channel would make their own movies perhaps their first made for channel movie they could have Coto write a Trek movie bringing Shatner as Kirk back…what better ratings could they ask for for a 1st made for tv movie


…reminds me of the “bad old days” in the 1980’s when only Showtime had exclusive rights to ALL Paramount films made from 1984 on, which meant, even though I watched THE WRATH OF KHAN innumerable times on HBO, I never got a chance to rewatch SEARCH FOR SPOCK or VOYAGE HOME until well into the 1990’s, when I finally picked them up on VHS!

I would be interested in what station/PPV service that ST-XI will debut in Canada. I’m sure that the good folks in the UK, Australia, Europe and elsewhere have similar questions. Any idea, Mr. Pascale, how PPV access will pan out for those of us who do not live in the States?

When the economy sucks, tv always makes a killing…

So Viacom Split CBS/Paramount into two parts and now both parts are trying to replace the best parts of the part they lost with their own thing!

The CBS side is plaing on producing films with $50-$60 million dollar budgets.

Wanna bet they put everything back together into one unit in a few years?

I see a big problem for us there.

Isn’t Paramount pictures the owner of Star Trek on cinema and CBS the owner of Star Trek on TV right now?

If both companies are angry at each other we can forget of any new Star Trek on TV even remotely related to ST XI.

Personally, I don’t care all that much what they do with premium movie channels… I don’t have any… and a lot, if not most of us, will buy the movie on DVD anyway. So what’s the big diff?

Some may even download it Doug…

Legally? Illegally would be illogical?

Let your logic decide.

Pink Panther 2? Wasn’t the first one bad enough? :-(

#25. I always thought Star Trek was owned by the tv company, (formerly Paramount television now CBS) because it started out on tv, and Paramount Pictures were licensed to make the movies. Even though it was the same company, they were still (virtually) seperate entities.
I don’t know if thats true, but if it is then Trek XI could be the last movie produced by Paramount…
Maybe Anthony could clear this up?

Peace and Long Life…

..sorry I don’t do premium pay-to-view channels..

But I’m sure the Trek DVD will be very nice and I look forward to that.

….yet another reason for me to cancel Showtime….

And they ask me why I don’t have cable anymore.

Pay Per View is only good for one thing…..wrastlin’! *LOL*
And I watch that at the local sports bar!

That would be great if this new channel would make some original Trek programming sort of like Showtime did with Stargate before Sci-Fi got it.
They could make one off movies ofRiker on the Titan or go back and catch up with old favorites from other Trek series. The possibilities are endless unless CBS has exclusive TV rights.

Now we get the Dis-united Paramount Network….

wait a tick… if I wanna wait until, say 2010 until I finally see tha’ new ST film so I can see it for the first time on telly, then I need to subscribe to this exciting new Pay-A-Mound channel?
Arrrrr, mate! Sign me up and to phewie wit’ tha’ BBC!

Doesn’t effect me…I have HBO for the mini-series. I haven’t watched a movie on cable in probably 10 years.


Don’t affect me none! :-)~

Paramount is better at writing releases than launching channels. Most viewers have no idea who make the films they watch. And launching PPV into the digital dowload age is quite risky from strategic perspective. A lot of marketing money is being spent by manufacturers to get all downloading ASAP.

It assumes a great knowledge by the public of Paramount properties, and cynically believes they will pay to add the channel so they can see the flicks.

For properties like Trek, Iron Man, and Indiana Jones, the fans will wait for the DVD/BR releases. And “Blair Witch Project?” What are they thinking? And a Robocop re-boot, too. “There will be…trouble!”

For us, if they did Star Trek original programming akin to Sopranos. I’ll sign the deal.

For Paramount it is a band-aid after being slapped in the face by HD-DVD, and the shareholders and analysts see some banner titles in the works for the coming years. (At least 3 IM, 2 IJ, 3 ST, 2 Transformers).

Brad Grey wants to exploit them through company-owned means, and he could use the channel to get us on board and puff up revenues by by delaying the DVDs. Hope not.

I have the full premium package with Comcast at the moment, since it was a throw-in when I bundled my services, but only for the next 10 months.. then, I’ll be dumping at least one (if not all of) the premium channels. I’ve noticed that I haven’t watched too much on Showtime, but HBO does give us quality shows like “John Adams” or their various series, so it’s the least likely to get dumped. If I’m not watching Showtime much now, that means I’m not watching too much from the studios on it now that are moving to the new channel, meaning I’m not likely to pick the new channel up.

After all, I subscribe to Netflix, so why worry about the movie channels too much? :)

“Blegh… I haven’t heard a single intelligent decision come from Paramount/Viacom in YEARS… why start now?”

Including the new Star Trek movie?

#41 TrekNerd

I reserve judgment on that for the time being…

=/\= James

Now that Paramount interested in starting a new movie network, I think we need a new poll:

If a movie you own on DVD airs on TV, are you more likely to:

– Pull out the DVD and watch it


– Watch it on tv, even though you can watch the movie at any time on DVD

(Didn’t Bill Maher comment on that about a month or so ago?)


I believe the name of this new channel was announced a while back as Epix.(though,hopefully,tha’s only a tenative name)

I think this might succeed after a few years of struggle much like Fox Movie Channel has. Yes,that’s on basic cable(in some areas)but the model’s still the same.

I’m going to at least try it before deciding it sucks or not.

And,no,we DON’T need another “Blair Witch Project” or “Robocop”