CBS Chief Touts Star Trek As All Access Hits 4 Million Subscriber Goal Early

A merger with Viacom could have a big impact with CBS All Access

On Thursday CBS Corporation announced their fourth-quarter earnings results were up to $4 billion. While this is an all-time high for the corporation, it came a bit below market expectations mostly due to a drop revenue from content licensing and distribution. In their announcement and follow-up conference call with the investment press, CBS focused on the positive, especially with regards to the growth of the company’s two subscription streaming services, Showtime and CBS All Access, home to Star Trek: Discovery.

All Access hits 4 million subscriber goal early

The announcements from CBS revealed that they had reached their goal of 8 million subscribers combined for their two subscription streaming services. Originally the company had set this goal for 2020. During the conference call, CBS interim CEO Joe Ianniello clarified this was just for subscribers in the USA and that the split between the two is roughly 50/50, saying there was a “healthy competitive race” within the company between Showtime and All Access. This means CBS All Access has reached its goal of 4 million subscribers, something former CEO Les Moonves talked about in 2017 predicting that coming premiere of Star Trek: Discovery would be the driver to achieve that goal.

Much of the conference call was dedicated to touting the success of these services, including Ianniello saying this:

Our two primary subscription streaming services are CBS All Access and Showtime. By getting in early, we now have clear evidence that these services are working. As they continue to scale, we are outperforming our expectations as well as the targets we have previously laid out for you.

Creating new original content key to continued growth

CBS has now set a new target of 25 million subscribers (combined) by 2022. And Ianniello talked about how they see original content as the primary driver, saying:

We are hearing loud and clear that in addition to watching our content on demand and outside the home, our subscribers love our premium content and they want more of it. So, our focus is squarely on delivering that to them. At All Access, we went from three original in 2017, to seven originals in 2018. And here in 2019 we will be adding four more to get us to eleven.

He also highlighted Star Trek’s contribution to the 2019 CBS All Access slate:

All Access we kicked off 2019 in a big way with season 2 premiere of Star Trek: Discovery. Next month The Good Fight returns and on April 1, Oscar winner Jordan Peele will take us to another dimension with the highly anticipated premiere of The Twilight Zone. Later this year, we’ll add a true crime drama called Interrogation and a dark comedy called Why Women Kill from Marc Cherry the creator of Desperate Housewives which stars Lucy Liu. And we’ll end 2019 by coming full circle with the launch of a new Star Trek series starring Sir Patrick Stewart as legendary captain Jean Luc Picard.

In a not so subtle way of poking at upcoming streaming services from media giant competitors Disney, NBC Universal, and Warner Brothers, Ianniello made it clear that All Access and Showtime were a key component to the future of CBS:

Our direct to consumer services are our future. Where others are just announcing their ambitions, we are hitting our stride, poised to take significant leaps head.

It is clear from the statements coming out of CBS that they see direct-to-consumer streaming services as vital and they are willing to devote more and more resources to them, especially in light of long-term trends with declining broadcast advertising revenue. The above comments add more context to why executives from CBS and All Access have been talking up their plans for expanding Star Trek offerings on All Access with more original content to both help grow the service, as well as giving subscribers reasons to stick around.

All Access content could end up on CBS Network (eventually)

A topic that came up during the Q&A portion of the call was if CBS might consider putting some of the original CBS All Access content on to the CBS broadcast network. Ianniello revealed that there have been some discussions of this, with regards to how they usually license their shows for later syndication. He used The Good Fight, which was first original show on All Access and therefore likely the first one to be considered for this kind of distribution, as a potential example, saying:

The great part about owning the intellectual property is that you have a choice. For instance just how the syndication business has proven to be extremely valuable over the years. It is not a new business, but historically we have taken shows off-net after three or four years and put them on cable networks and/or streaming services to drive awareness back to the broadcast network. When we look at a Good Fight for example and we see a few million people have watched The Good Fight given that it is exclusively on All Access, what if we took season one of The Good Fight and put it on the CBS broadcast network to drive subscribers back to All Access?

What that all means is that after a few seasons, it’s possible the first season of Discovery could end up broadcast on CBS. Of course, the first hour of the pilot was shown on CBS as a form of promotion when the show premiered in the fall of 2017, but something like this would be for a full season. While it is hard to see older seasons of Discovery delivering enough ratings for regular CBS primetime, it could possibly fit into the summer schedule when the network often runs more genre fare.

Netflix Discovery deal seen as a model for more licensing revenue

Regarding the subject of licensing revenue, the CBS chief again brought up Star Trek with regard to how they are approaching international deals, saying:

We are benefited from the lucrative business of licensing our content to third parties. Selling Star Trek: Discovery to Netflix internationally while streaming it exclusively here in the US on All Access is emblematic of this strategy and provides for interesting opportunities for us going forward.

The world is still waiting to hear how CBS will distribute the upcoming Picard show outside of the USA. While the deal with Netflix gives the streaming giant first look at any spin-off shows from Discovery, the Picard series is considered something separate. Although it would not be surprising if Netflix still ended up being the primary international partner for the upcoming Star Trek show featuring Sir Patrick Stewart.

No merger talk

One thing that the CBS top brass on the call would not talk about was the potential merger with Viacom. When asked about it Ianniello deferred, saying it was up to the board of directors and he and his team were focused on running the company. Regardless, industry analysts still consider a re-merger of CBS and Viacom (parent company of Paramount Pictures) as inevitable, and likely happening sometime in 2019. The CBS/Viacom combination is not considered the end, rather it is just one of a number of potential deals, which could also include mergers or acquisitions with Discovery Networks, Lionsgate, and/or Sony Pictures. And there has also been reporting of CBS – or CBS merged with some of these other entities – being scooped up by a tech giant in search of content like Amazon, Apple, or Verizon.

The bottom line is the two entities that share Star Trek (CBS and Paramount) are potentially going to go through some more corporate changes in the next few years.


Keep up with all the CBS and Paramount corporate news here at TrekMovie.com.

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A34

I guess Doomdork was right. Discovery is so getting cancelled.

NCC Lincoln 1785

Lies

Awesomesauce

Doomdork and Randome are raiding the heat wave or did you ever see a video that was in positive spirit or had to say enithing positive?

A34

I was joking. I wouldn’t waste a half second of my life watching those losers spread their lies.

Awesomesauce

Hahaha exactly. I’ve watched this Randome girl as it was suggested from YouTube and I tought I would see new content I like. Bhooo was I mistaken. She was ranting about dilithium christals from the Tilly short threks and ranting how dumb the writers are as dilithium is the fule of the ship’s,… but had no idea that the christals just facilitate the matter antimatter reaction and also called every one a dumb idiot who is watching Discovery. As I could not let it go I pointed out the irony to her 😉

A34

Is that the fake redhead woman? I remember blocking that idiot’s channel.

Awesomesauce

yes :D

A34

I knew it. Yeah, she isn’t worth anyone’s time.

Gary 8.5

Sure it is , perhaps in a year or three.

A34

Maybe even four years. 😋

Trek coming closer and closer to reality every day. The interface (which sounds a lit like streaming) begins to replace TV in the 2020s. TV is gone in the 2040s…

Allenburch

I wonder when holo-communications replace FaceTime?

Don’t recall references to that sadly.

skyjedi

For a connected Star Trek universe a merger is necessary. Then the movies and TV series can be set in the same timeline, share a continuity. I will be sad when that happens because Kelvin will be erased from existence, but excited for new Star Trek movies set in the canon timeline.

Sam

Seriously people. Your DVDs are not going anywhere.

Land O'Calrissian

It’s simply untrue that the movies and TV series aren’t set in the same continuity. They are. Just ask any of us who write the novels and comics. It’s a myth that TV writers can’t refer to the movies, and vice versa. It’s a myth that a lot of fans perpetuate under the mistaken belief that it’s real–but it’s not.

Tiger2

What are you talking about? The Kelvin movies won’t be ‘erased’. They will still be in the other universe even if their movies are dead from this point on. Star Trek takes place in a multiverse, it can make as many universes as they want and it would all stay canon to one another in the future.

Corinthian7

Technically they could still erase them but it seems unlikely now with The Picard series seemingly cementing the series in canon by setting the show in the aftermath of the Hobus supernova. It’s also possible that we could get a final Kelvin movie that resets the timeline Yesterday’s Enterprise style but that seems less likely given the current state of Star Trek 4. If anything the merger may strengthen the canonical links by having episodes that crossover into that universe or even entire projects set in Kelvinverse. Certainly Discovery if it’s renewed could easily contrive a story that saw them jump into that timeline.

Tiger2

But the only way they could erase them if Spock and Nero doesn’t go through the blackhole and no one seems to want to do that, especially now that Nimoy is gone.

And now that we know Romulus is destroyed on the Picard show then that means they are sticking with canon.

But of course anything in the franchise can be erased if you really want to do it, but why would anyone want to? They wouldn’t ‘erase’ anything because all that would do is cancel another revenue stream. Look at the Kelin universe, we haven’t seen a film since Beyond and we might not see another one again. But they are still making other stories for it like comics and recently released a game. So as long as something can make money on some level they would never ‘erase’ it. That’s just ridiculous from a business angle alone. And why I never understand why fans get into such a tussle about this stuff?

Not one single thing in Trek’s 50+ years has ever been erased or disregarded. Not one. Everything that has ever been presented in Trek has lived on in a comic book, game or novel even when they eventually die off in the shows or movies. If anything, all they are doing now are reintroducing things we haven’t seen in awhile in Discovery and the future Picard show.

Corinthian7

I’ve not suggested that they’d bury the series and pretend it never happened just acknowledged that they could still choose to reset the timeline and treat those movies like Yesterday’s Enterprise. That’s one of the most popular episodes of the TNG that is still part of the canon and has been explored further in tie in media. I don’t necessarily think this will happen but given that there has been some talk that the QT movie will feature the Kelvin cast and he has gone on record to say that he thinks Yesterday’s Enterprise would be a great episode to adapt as a movie then I still maintain the possibility that this could happen. That’s not to say it definitely going to happen and it’s the complete opposite of suggesting that it would shutdown an entire revenue stream given that for this story to come to pass they’d actually have to make another movie with those characters.

As you say, with Nimoys passing it’s not likely they would go down this route anymore but it wouldn’t be impossible as they could still potentially give Prime Spock a satisfying conclusion using outtakes and voiceovers. In any case I cite this as just one example of how they might deal with the KU. In my post I actually said that the merger would likely strengthen the canonical links between the movies and tv shows as it would be much easier to have crossovers and they could even greenlight TV shows set in that timeline so I don’t understand how you could take from my post the suggestion that I thought they might actually bury the Abrams movies.

Tiger2

I wasn’t saying YOU were, I was mainly just pigging backing on your point and why it will probably never happen. But I could’ve been more clearer on that, so apologies.

My only point is its never happened before and there is zero reason to believe it would now. Especially when you consider those films are literally some of the highest grossing films in the franchise, although Beyond still flopped.

Of course the irony about all of this is that these films were made in another universe so Orci and Kutzman wouldn’t be accused of ‘erasing’ TOS and the other shows lol. But these examples just shows some fans take this stuff way too literally. It’s all fiction and nothing is fully erased if it still exists in media regardless. And in the Kelvin films case it doesn’t really matter one way or the other until someone else from the prime universe crosses into that universe some day. Who knows though, maybe it could be Picard who goes off looking for his friend Spock in season 3 of that show….or after the merger of course. ;)

As far as the Tarantino film, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Corinthian7

Thats okay dude. I know we’ve debated this a few times so you could be forgiven for imagining that I want to have the Kelvin movies excised from canon but I don’t. I’d actually rather they keep it running parallel so that we can have occasional crossovers in the same vein as we’ve seen with the MU. There was just something that stuck in my mind from that original Tarantino interview when the story broke about him being interested in directing Trek that makes me think a timeline reset might be viewed as a means of completing that story arc. Hell, even if they did do that it wouldn’t prevent crossovers as Parallels showed us multiple timelines on TNG and the one poster on here who we know has actually contributed to canon has made his views on trek time travel very clear!

J.P.

Just imagine how much better CBSAA would do if it and Showtime combined together for a decent streaming service instead of a sub par one with CBSAA (“Showtime All Access” perhaps?). That would make it almost as worthy as HULU (although no where near Amazon Prime or Netflix). I’m waiting until the end of DSC’s second season and then I’m going to subscribe for one month for the commercial free plan (I’m not paying to watch commercials) and then immediately cancelling after that month. After “The Twilight Zone” finishes the first season I’ll do that again. If CBSAA and Showtime were combined it would be a far better streaming service and something that would be far more worthwhile in subscribing to as well.

A34

CBSAA and Showtime are two different products.

khambattafan

Er, but if one wants to be competitive with Netflix, one must be competitive with Netflix. A small smattering of new shows plus reruns of Magnum P.I. and Survivor don’t really cut it, you know? Me dear gran would call their strategy ‘penny wise, pound foolish.’

A34

Did you ever watched Netflix when they first started streaming? Back when it started you needed a Windows PC to watch it and it was wall to wall B movies. CBS AA is in a way better position compared to the early days of Netflix content wise.

Jeff

Except CBS isn’t breaking new ground like Netfix was in the early days. They are following the leader. So while CBS might have a path already blazed for them they not necessarily in a better position than other services are now. So it doesn’t matter how they compare to Netflix in the early days if CBS:AA isn’t appealing beside the current competition they’ll have a hard time keeping the lights on.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I think CBS should rename the service to simply “All Access” and try to get TheCW to join in. That might give them enough variety to compete directly with Hulu and Netflix all year long.

A34

CBS is breaking new ground for network TV. CBS was the only network that didn’t sign on to Hulu and later created CBS AA. Now I’m hearing that NBC is going to startup their own for pay streaming network. ABC and Fox won’t be far behind.

Danpaine

Wait until Disney Plus comes out. CBS who???

Jack

Yeah, except CBSAA is competing with Netflix now (and Amazon, Hulu and, soon Apple), not in 2007.

They should absolutely incorporate Showtime and the CW. It doesn’t matter that they’re “different products.” You get the widest audience possible without losing anyone.

DIGINON

By merging they would lose money from people who currently have both services.
Look, I understand that it can be annoying having to subscribe to a number of services. It would be nice to have everything in one place.
As long as CBS thinks they can make more money by having two separate services they will keep them. And they have probably done more market research looking into that question than you have (no disrespect).

NCC Lincoln 1785

So why not firesticj while you at it since you like free stuff

Dillan

They will probably do this, but Showtime is locked into carrier contracts, so it’ll have to wait for them to expire. Which is around 2024/2025.

Danpaine

Excellent post, J.P.

Matto

Takes like 2 hours to watch an episode on their shitty streaming app.. no thanks.

MysticalDigtial

Subscribe to the service via Amazon Prime, much much nicer experience.

Thorny

The Amazon Channels subscription worked fine for me, for a while. Then in December it started demanding I pay $2.99 to watch the new episodes of Magnum or God Friended Me, even though my CBS Channel subscription was active. Used online chat to resolve issue, it was only on my Fire TV Cube, I could watch the episodes on my PC. They walked me through logging-out and in and then rebooting and it worked for another week or so. Then the same thing happened again. Tried to watch another new show and it demanded $2.99. I pulled the plug on Amazon Channels and went back to the stand-alone app.

Danpaine

Confirmed. Night and day difference.

ML31

But why should the consumer be required to buy a 2nd service in order to get the first one at the technical level all other services seem to have already? I know I sure as hell have zero reason to subscribe to Amazon Prime. I’m already paying for CBSAA just for Trek. Why would I add to that just for Trek?

A34

The problem is at your end.

MattR

Right? The only times I had problems with CAA were during the first four or five episodes of season 1. They’ve improved the streaming and the resolution since then.

A34

I do have problems when I try to watch it on my old firetv stick. No problems with the PS4, I just hate using the PS4 to watch video. Too much wasted power.

ML31

This problem has been well documented and thus far the only solution has been ‘subscribe to Amazon Prime’. Further still, Netflix and other streaming services do not have the same video glitches that only CBSAA have. The problem is 100% for sure on CBS’s end.

Spiked Canon

yep, no problem since then

PEB

Werid, I’ve NEVER had any issue viewing anything on CBSAA. I downloaded the app to my Xbox1 and it never has stopped to buffer or gotten hung up. Maybe people who have issues are having a connection issue more than an issue with the App itself? Hope it gets better for you.

Bridger

So why have they not announced Season 3 of Discovery yet, when it is doing that well.

NiclovesTrek

Maybe they figuring budget allocations. It’s pretty expensive to make and they made also be discussion regarding storyline. I don’t think there’s a delay based on performance of the show itself.

I think it’s an issue of timing. If they announce season 3 just before season 2 ends, that might help with the overall brand awareness of the CBS All Access product. Also, I think they want to hammer out the scheduling details first: meaning after Star Trek Picard, will Lower Decks be ready by 2020? Will the new Section 31 series debut before DISC season 3 or after?, etc.

NiclovesTrek

Yes that’s good theory as well for the delay.

NCC Lincoln 1785

I’m ok with Discovery being on every two years like GOT. That why they can plan their story arcs and season arcs and a plan endgame

DeanH

I personally long for the days of a show premiering each Sept with a finale every Mar. But as I said below, those days that coincided with the old broadcast television season are slowly disappearing. The hiatus between S1 and S2 of Disco was almost 11 months long and I guess that is what we will have to get used to going forward. On the plus side, the production values of these streaming shows is over the top, so if the quality remains high and the stories continue to get better, then I guess it will be worth it.

Thorny

“I’m ok with Discovery being on every two years like GOT”

I’m not, and I suspect you’ll find that most people are VERY annoyed with HBO for stretching out GoT as long as it has. People complain about CBS being greedy for putting Trek on a pay service, but HBO’s milking of GoT is on a whole ‘nother level. It’s probably because they know subscription cancellations are going to come fast and furious once GoT is over. They’ve got nothing without it (the intended successor, “Westworld” is a far cry from GoT.)

Tiger2

Well they are making a prequel to GOT so its not like that show is dead forever. And to be fair they took their time because they wanted to spend as much time to get the final season right. I don’t think it has anything to do with subscriptions. Its been nearly 2 years, people could’ve cancelled long ago and subscribe again when the show came back on. So I don’t think that was a tactic they simply wanted the time to make the show as best they could. That’s a big advantage network shows don’t get to have.

Danpaine

…and, the Sopranos prequel coming up, which will be fantastic. HBO is doing just fine, and is in a whole different league than CBS, and always will be. And, is only $4 more a month. Much, much better value.

Dillan

Multi-season pickup? Waiting for the first episode of Section 31 to finish writing, so they can order both at the same time? Could be anything.

Chad

I dont get why people say there is a delay on announcing a Third season. Last year they announced the renewal for season 2 a day after episode 6 aired. We only just watched episode 5. So patience people.

Land O'Calrissian

Discovery season three is already being mapped out. The show isn’t going anywhere. Only crazy people think it has been canceled.

ML31

You never know. By all accounts Daredevil was one of Netflix’ more popular shows. Yet it got canned.

BLACKMOCCO

DD and all the other Marvel shows being cancelled had nothing to do with ratings. Disney needs content for their own streaming services. Makes no sense to give it to a competitor.

ML31

That is certainly one of the things being said out there. But I also read that Disney will have nothing beyond PG-13 on their service. Which pretty much leaves out much of Netflix’ Marvel content. Which has been pretty hard on the violence.

BLACKMOCCO

Well yeah, the main brand’ll be mostly family friendly but with the Disney/FOX merger, Disney now owns pretty much 70% of HULU and that’ll do just fine for more edgy material. There’ll still be adult content (hello Deadpool!) coming from Disney, it just won’t have their name on front of the tin. DD and Punisher are decent-sized IPs. I doubt we’ve seen the last of them, even if it may not be in the form of the Netflix incarnations again.

The other thing worth mentioning here is that yes, CBS have launched their streaming service but the goal isn’t to take on the likes of Netflix or Amazon Prime in terms of viewers. Everyone – including CBS – knows that isn’t reasonable. They don’t have the content, but if they can create their own little market that pays for itself through enough subscribers, that’ll do nicely. CBS are getting put through the wringer by launching a paid-streaming service but it’s only because they’re the first to do it. The other big networks are already gearing up to do the same and in five years time, when cable TV is toast, no-one’ll remember CBS had the cheek to ask us to pay for new Star Trek/Twilight Zone/Good Wife/etc. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

ML31

Deadpool is a movie and will not be seen on Disney+ if they stick to their PG-13 rule. I suspect that if DD and Punisher show up it will not be the Netflix versions. Possibly rebooted with new actors.

I also strongly suspect that cable will still be alive and kicking in 5 years.

Roberto

There could be many reasons, the most likely, in my eyes, is the timing. One could also ask why they did’t release theese numbers before, with all the roumors and speculations about bad numbers. It makes sence to wait intill it hit 8 mil, and it makes sense to wait untill they hit their subscriber Goal Early. So when they release thair plans for season 3, it will make sense as well.

Drew Boylan

Just imagine how many viewers there would be if they made a real Star trek tv show. I just watched episode 1 and it was full of pure cinematics for a great action movie. I’ll be waiting for a real small screen sci-fi show maybe continuing in to the future of Star trek. If you want to go to star treks past great. Take stories from great sci-fi writers like they did. Who are today’s Harlan Ellison and Ray Bradbury. I guess the show runner said every single episode contributes to the overall plot of the show…. Just like everything I do every day leads to the overall story of my death. If I wanted to watch a soap opera that glorifies war I’d be a star wars fan. Quick rant jump all over me don’t care. Someone go ahead and message me when they write episodes that explore mankind, space and the future. I can’t get excited when it’s so clear they don’t get it. I’ll just try and be excited for this cartoon and maybe the Picard show pbly be a lot closer to the bright curious and hopeful spirit of trek

You might want to watch the second episode.

Ad Astra Per Aspera

All that was missing from this was the “if you like Discovery then you are not a real Star Trek fan” declaration.

Land O'Calrissian

You lost me at the pretentious sentence “Just imagine how many viewers there would be if they made a real Star trek tv show.” Just because YOU don’t like it doesn’t make it not a real Star Trek TV show, so the rest of your post is irrelevant. Discovery is immensely popular. Move on.

Drew Boylan

You are right I am pretentious. I kinda look at the way they have action film directors and writers whom also constantly handle older material like star wars Star trek like I would look at TNG if they had said Gene Roddenberry couldn’t be involved. Decisions made based on profitability calculations and not principles. Pretentious and impractical. I think there are people more qualified to carry on in a more purist vision of science fiction or trek.

I am pleased to be wrong here I thought there would be others lamenting the many hours of bad trek seen in the past decade. I had great hopes for small screen trek until I saw it. Guess I didn’t look long enough! But I still think Rodenbery handed his stuff off to some writers who are immensely talented and could be brought back into the fold

Boze

Yes, it’s so immensely popular that videos criticizing it are getting more views than videos interviewing its principal cast members. :P
But jokes aside: popularity or quality of a show has no influence on whether it is or isn’t Star Trek. There are plenty of popular, high-quality shows that aren’t Star Trek, but that doesn’t make them bad shows.

The creators themselves made it “not a real Star Trek TV show” when they took a ‘creative’ decision to diverge from actual Star Trek. Or, to put it even more clear: we’ve been watching real Star Trek for forty years. We know it was real Star Trek because it came first. This new thing called “Discovery” is inconsistent with everything that was made during those forty years. And since it is inconsistent with real Star Trek, it obviously cannot be real Star Trek.

So what it is, if not Star Trek? Well, it is a derivative work, a “based upon”. Again, that doesn’t make it inherently bad show, and it doesn’t preclude it from becoming popular (for example, Moore’s Battlestar Galactica was quite popular despite not being the actual Battlestar Galactica). But, obviously, a derivative work loosely based on the original is NOT the same thing as the original. Discovery may or may not be popular, and it may or may not be good, that’s entirely a matter of opinion – but either way, it differs from actual Star Trek, much like salisbury steak differs from actual steak: the only thing they have in common is the word “steak” and the fact they’re both supposed to be eaten.

We can suspect that many people would like Discovery a lot more if it weren’t for the false advertising that misled them into believing they’re going to get actual Star Trek. I know I’m one of them: once I stopped expecting to see Star Trek, the show suddenly turned from an incredibly weak Trek into a somewhat watchable sci-fi show. I doubt I’ll ever warm up for Michael Woodham, but as a whole, it *is* watchable. And that’s all that matters.

ML31

“Discovery is immensely popular.”

There is no data to support that conclusion. Unless your definition of “immensely” is not the standard Webster’s definition.

dennycranium

“Someone go ahead and message me when they write episodes that explore mankind, space and the future”

There are several episodes that are like that in Season 2. You’ll have to spend $5.99 to watch them all though…*gasp*

Drew Boylan

Glad to hear I’ll probably binge them all in one month sometime when I’m ready and then cancel subscription lol. It seems like they are trying hard to get people like me to watch by working Canon into s2 more? I don’t care about that but it’s a little enticing I must admit. I know it’s dumb to comment having seen but one show but when the over the top cinematics and miniscule content had me nodding out it’s hard to justify even $5.99. The now relatively inexpensive CGI makes lush imagery and effects easily able to fill time on the show when B4 there was just enough to spark the imagination and drive the story. My father who’s die hard Star trek and sci fi fan tells me the Orville is closer to offering the depth that star trek once had. Im very glad to see the franchise moving forward in some way and glad to hear that I’m wrong gives me hope for this iteration. Thanks for everyone’s overly calm and polite replies! 😀

DeanH

Broadcast and cable tv served us all so well for many decades but it is quite obvious that streaming will continue to grow as a medium and may become dominant over the next few decades. I know many have lamented the launch of CBSAA and the CBS choice to stream Discovery exclusively in the U.S. but it seems quite clear that Discovery is not leaving CBSAA any time soon. While living in the US, I started the migration off expensive cable about four years ago which cut my monthly COMCAST charges by about 70 percent and supplemented it with streaming services such as NHL.com, Netflix and CBSAA. For those still hoping for a return to yesteryear, I think that train has come and gone.

DataMat

Not a question of maybe. It is happening and it will continue to get much bigger in the 2020s

In related news, this social media thing seems to be catching on…

DIGINON

You mean Myspace?

DeanH

A pretty ambitious 2022 target – one might safely assume that barring anything unforeseen, Discovery and the other Star Trek content will be around for at least the next three to four years and hopefully much longer.

A34

Is it crazy that we’ll back in the 20’s by next year?

Jeff

Back? How old are you? Next year will be my first time in the 20’s.

A34

I believe in reincarnation

AJinMoscow

I still don’t get the model that makes Discovery profitable for anyone. The “Oh sure, why don’t we maybe show older seasons via syndication to our affiliates or on cable” sounds more like where the US side of the business will make money, and was probably in the business model from the start.

DIGINON

It would seem that, on the CBS side of things, they make most of their money from selling international distribution rights for Discovery to Netflix. Moonves said that the Netflix deal covered most of the season 1 budget. The rest probably comes from All Access subscriptions, Bluray/DVD sales and merchandise licensing.
As for how Netflix decides what’s profitable for them that’s probably a more complicated question. If some Netflix user only watches Discovery and nothing else you can link their subscription fee to Discovery. However, most people probably don’t subscribe for one specific show (and unsubscribe when it’s off) so it’s more complicated how much each show contributes to Netflix’s earnings. I’m sure they have their methods.

dennycranium

Many TV shows don’t return a profit until they reach syndication. CBS knows this. I suspect they will invest in Discovery until they get enough episodes to sell a syndication deal. I also suspect that Netflix in North America will begin to stream Discovery after a few more seasons get made. Were I a Netflix “suit” I’d have negotiated that into the deal with CBS. Had All Access failed? Netflix most likely would have picked up the show.

AJinMoscow

If Netflix has agreed to pay for the production of the series in order to show it to its 188 markets outside North America as proposed here: https://screenrant.com/star-trek-discovery-budget-netflix-cbs/, then Discovery is full speed ahead. It’s then on Netflix to make a profit on their own business model, while CBS is laughing all the way to the bank.

Land O'Calrissian

And yet there are still fans in denial who will claim DISCOVERY is a failure that is being canceled. I pity those types.

Ryan

Sure Ill buy news from a CBS owned company. Right got ya. I doubt that is the current sub number, and more a tally of all subs over time, not including cancellations. But if it is 4 million subs, they arent all there to watch Disco. This is more bs. I will wait for verifiable third party metrics.

DeanH

Now it would not be the first company to break the law, but you do know that CBS is a public American company and it is illegal for a public US company to release false subscriber numbers via its 4th quarter results. I hope you are not going through life thinking everything you don’t like to hear is fake news.

Tommy

Ryan, since what you’re accusing them of is Securities Fraud I’d be happy to turn your information over to the SEC and CBS’s legal department.

Stargazer

Four million viewers just in the US. Add Netflix to that and it’s probably the most watched Trek show worldwide since TNG. Pretty good for a show the manbabies hate.

ML31

The 4 million number is combined Showtime and CBSAA. We do not know how that breaks down but I would wager real money the Showtime subscriber level is higher than CBSAA’s. And again, I’d also like to see what that figure is come May when the nearly all the Trek fans have unsubscribed.

BLACKMOCCO

Sorry ML, but the 4 mil number is for CBSAA. 8 mil combined with Showtime. From the article above: “CBS revealed that they had reached their goal of 8 million subscribers combined for their two subscription streaming services. Originally the company had set this goal for 2020. During the conference call, CBS interim CEO Joe Ianniello clarified this was just for subscribers in the USA and that the split between the two is roughly 50/50, saying there was a “healthy competitive race” within the company between Showtime and All Access. This means CBS All Access has reached its goal of 4 million subscribers”

ML31

My bad. I misread it. I stand corrected.

BLACKMOCCO

4 million subscribers is pretty good at this point, truth be told. Considering the content (for now) is pretty limited. Discovery may have had a rocky first season but it’s finding its feet now, and that’ll benefit the other Trek shows in development. Twilight Zone is going to pull in a whole new set of viewers too. Future’s looking good as long as CBS stays realistic with the projections.

ML31

I don’t think Twilight Zone will pull in all that many subscribers. At best it will keep many from dropping their subscription when STD ends its 2nd season. But while I am interested in it, it is not enough to keep me subscribed. CBSAA is getting turned off the instant I watch the season 2 finale. I’ll check out the first couple of TZ’s but will finish them off when I resubscribe for Picard or S3 of STD.

kmart

I figured out the Picard show’s gimmick — Wesley got tired of Travelling and has been running section 31.

Matt

Here in Australia CBS bought our Network Ten, and have launched “Ten All Access” as a streaming service under the Ten brand. I would not be surprised if they did not offer the Picard series to Netflix here, and instead made us pick up their pointless streaming service that will really only have the Picard series, and maybe Twilight Zone. Everything else they have made for CBS All Access has gone to other providers here, making $10AUD a month a pretty tough sell

Jack

Is that current, active subscribers?

DeanH

The story is based on the 4th quarter results for CBS. Therefore I imagine with both Discovery’s premiere in January combined with the Super Bowl, the CBSAA subscriber base went up even more significantly in the first month of the year.

Thorny

Live TV on CBS-AA isn’t available everywhere, though. They love to hype “Sign up today and watch the Grammy’s Live on CBS-AA!” All I ever get is “Not available in your area.”

ML31

I will be more curious to see what those numbers will be come May. When there is no Discovery to keep people subscribing.

And the concept of putting stuff on the CBS TV network is not that surprising. Given the length of the episodes it feels like that was considered long ago.

DIGINON

Most of the season 2 episodes have been around the 50 minute mark (with the premiere at 1 hour) which is definitely longer than the stardard network show.

ML31

True… 50+ minutes is more in line with other streaming dramas.