Two weeks ago CBS announced Star Trek: Short Treks will premiere this week on CBS All Access in the USA. That initial announcement had no information about international availability, but today details on Short Treks premiere in Canada was revealed. However, indications are that Short Treks will not be available, at least in the short term, on Netflix in the rest of the world.
Canada: Short Treks coming to Space, Crave, and Snackable
Space is the home of Star Trek: Discovery in Canada and the first indication it would also air Short Treks came over the weekend when the first episode showed up on Space.ca‘s listings for the coming week, with the first episode “Runaway” set to air on Thursday, October 4th at 9 pm eastern time.
Today Bell Media, who own Space, officially announced their plans for Short Treks, officially confirming all four episodes will air on Space on the same nights as they are made available on on CBS All Access in the USA. Just as they did with Discovery, the episodes of Short Treks will be made available on the following day on the CraveTV streaming service.
There is a trailer for Canadian audiences too
The subsequent three episodes of Short Treks will follow the same pattern on Space with “Calypso” on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 9 p.m. ET, “The Brightest Star” on Thursday, Dec. 6 and “The Escape Artist” on Thursday, Jan. 3 at 9 p.m. ET. In each case, the episodes will be available on the following day on CraveTV at 9 p.m. ET.
Bell also announced that for the first time ever, all four installments will also be available on SnackableTV, Bell Media’s short-form video app, following their launch on Space and CraveTV.
Bell has also re-confirmed they will carry the second season of Star Trek: Discovery in Canada on Space and CraveTV. The second season was just announced to be premiering in January.
Rest of the world: No announced plans for Short Treks on Netflix, for now
While Netflix has announced they will continue to carry Star Trek: Discovery for the second season for those outside of the USA and Canada, they have announced no plans to make Short Treks available.
When Short Treks was initially announced by CBS, Netflix UK specifically confirmed with Digital Spy: “there are currently no plans to air the Short Treks on the streaming service.” And last week they said the same to TVWise.co.uk. TrekMovie has reached out to both Netflix and CBS, but as of now, there is no new information regarding if or when Short Treks will be made available internationally on the streaming service.
— Star Trek Writers (@StarTrekRoom) October 2, 2018
Monthly Short Treks may not fit Netflix preference for bingable shows
While Netflix has the option to pick up any projects related to Discovery, it is not automatic. Back in August CBS executives noted that they’re contractually obligated to work with Netflix for anything Discovery related, so presumably Netflix has chosen not to carry Short Treks, or at least not run it as a monthly series like Space and CBS All Access is doing.
It is possible that the format of one short episode each month is an issue. Netflix does have certain requirements for short-form entertainment (short content is required to be bundled up into longer compilations), as well as showing preferences for bingable content. As Joel McHale recently said on the Jim and Sam Show after his series The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale (along with other weekly shows) was canceled:
Obviously Netflix has trained their audience to binge watch, and we actually tried that, as well. But so far people aren’t watching Netflix that way…
While Netflix seems to be happy with weekly releases for Star Trek: Discovery as it is high-profile, appointment TV, they may see the Short Treks mini-episodes, which would be released only one a month, as just too little content and spread too far apart for their current business model.
So Netflix may indeed have decided to pass on Short Treks entirely. However, it also a possibility that Netflix will work with CBS to release the entire series in a more bingable format once all four have been released in the USA and Canada, perhaps in time for the season 2 premiere in January.
TrekMovie will continue to monitor things with regards to Netflix and Short Treks and provide any updates as they become available.