Earlier today CBS CEO Les Moonves spoke to investors about the future of the company, including hopes for how Star Trek: Discovery will help meet their goals of growth for the CBS All Access platform.
Moonves talks expectations for Discovery on All Access and future of the platform
Speaking to investors this morning, the CEO of CBS Leslie Moonves went into more detail about his expectations for Star Trek: Discovery and specifically how he sees the show driving growth for the subscriber-based CBS All Access streaming service. Last year Moonves told investors that the company expected All Access to hit a goal of four million subscribers. Today he was asked about that goal and said:
On All Access, we were well over one million subs before we put on any original content. We just launched The Good Fight, which is The Good Wife spin-off. It has done very well and we are very pleased and it’s only three weeks in but the subscribers are going up there. Once Star Trek comes on – which will be late summer/early fall – we expect the subscribers to go up considerably. We think as we keep adding original content, that’s going to be easy to get to four million there…It’s not even optimistic – we are confident we are going to hit those numbers.
Moonves also said that CBS was committed to doing four original shows each year for CBS All Access and he outlined the vision for what kind of content they were looking to do for the platform, saying:
We are primarily looking at scripted [content]. We are looking at things that would be different than is on the CBS Television Network. Probably more of a similar profile to what they are doing on Showtime. But obviously as it is All Access and we have got people to pay for it, there needs to be a great hook. Star Trek – obviously people have been clamoring for new Star Trek for years and years. So it is either through a star or through an idea that we will put shows on All Access that will attract people to pay money. People have got to feel they are getting something they are not getting elsewhere. And we think we will be able to achieve that.
According to Moonves, CBS is open to the idea of expanding CBS All Access outside the USA, but he again noted the importance of Netflix in funding Star Trek: Discovery, saying:
There may be a possibility. Obviously with Star Trek we had a tremendous deal with Netflix to sell the international rights to them, which obviously paid for a lot of what Star Trek cost. There would be a possibility of looking at both OTT [Over the top streaming service] platforms and coming up with an international service. It is certainly working for Netflix and Amazon and a lot of local SVOD [Subscription Video on Demand] players so we are exploring this right now in certain territories.
Betting on Star Trek To Move Into New MarketsCBS is staking a lot of its growth on their All Access streaming service, and apparently Star Trek is a major part of meeting their goals, if not the key to those goals.
Even though Star Trek barely made it to a third season in the late 60s, by the 70s (due to the popularity of reruns in syndication) it was seen a vital property by Paramount and its parent at the time Gulf-Western. In 1977 Paramount announced they were going to launch a new television network with a Star Trek series as its flagship. The network project eventually died and the “Star Trek: Phase II” series morphed into the 1979 theatrical film Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In 1987 Paramount had a groundbreaking success in first-run syndication with the launch of Star Trek: The Next Generation. And when Paramount finally did launch a TV network (UPN) in 1995 it started with the premiere of Star Trek: Voyager.
Today, streaming has become a major force in the entertainment industry. Just yesterday it was reported that more US homes have the Netflix streaming service than a DVR. And last week the US Government reported that the number of televisions in US homes is actually declining as more and more people are getting content on other devices. CBS executives are betting that the future won’t just be televised; it will also be streamed. What better show than Star Trek, a vision for a hopeful future, to bring them into the new entertainment age.
Stay tuned to TrekMovie for all the news related to Star Trek: Discovery. And keep track of the show’s crew and details in one place on our Discovery page.