The library of Star Trek television series has been readily available on all the major streaming services in the USA for years, but it looks like those days may be coming to an end.
Netflix says goodbye to TOS, Voyager, and Enterprise
On Wednesday, Netflix announced all the shows coming and going from the service in September and three Star Trek shows were included, all of which will be leaving at the end of the month. Exiting Netflix are all three seasons of Star Trek: The Original Series, all seven seasons of Star Trek: Voyager, and all four seasons of Star Trek: Enterprise. So far, there is no word on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Netflix was the first streaming service to license the Star Trek television catalog, having cut a deal in early 2011. Four of the five Star Trek shows started streaming in July 2011, with DS9 joining in October. Licensing deals for all five series were struck with Hulu and the Amazon Prime Video service in subsequent years. Star Trek: The Animated Series was available on Netflix and other services for a few years, but is currently only available on Paramount+.
Star Trek has been popular on Netflix, with Voyager being the most rewatched according to a Netflix release in 2017. And of course Netflix partnered with CBS to create Star Trek: Discovery in 2017, with Netflix distributing it outside the USA and Canada.
Starting with its 2014 launch, all of the Star Trek shows were available for streaming on CBS All Access, which was relaunched by ViacomCBS as Paramount+ earlier this year. Paramount Plus is the exclusive home in the USA to three original Star Trek series (Discovery, Picard, and Lower Decks), with two more arriving over the next year (the animated kids series Prodigy and the live-action Strange New Worlds).
Star Trek coming home to Paramount Plus?
Unlike feature films which have short licensing windows and move around, as we saw recently with a number of the Star Trek feature films, television licensing deals tend to be long term. The Star Trek shows have been on Netflix consistently for ten years. The same is true for Hulu and Amazon Prime since joining those streaming services. In theory, Netflix and ViacomCBS could renegotiate a license, however, industry trends indicate this is could be the beginning of the end for Star Trek shows being sold to other streaming services. If that is the case, DS9 and TNG will eventually leave Netflix when deals for those shows expire, and all five shows will drop out of Hulu and Amazon as well; as of now, there are no details on if or when this will happen.
Assuming this is the plan, it would leave Paramount Plus as the exclusive streamer for the Star Trek television library in the USA. This type of pulling back of licensed properties has been a trend in the industry: Warner Media did it with Friends on HBO Max and NBC Universal did the same with The Office and Parks and Recreation on Peacock. ViacomCBS is also doing this with other shows. For example, Evil is also exiting Netflix in September. In June that series moved from the CBS Broadcast Network to become a Paramount Plus original series with a brand new season.
While not explicitly calling out Star Trek, ViacomCBS has made it clear they are pivoting away from their previous policy of aggressively licensing their content. Earlier this month when speaking about the latest quarterly results, CEO Bob Bakish noted that licensing revenue had fallen due in part to “ongoing efforts to limit licensing to third-party streaming services.”
As of now, there is no indication that ViacomCBS is pulling back on licensing Star Trek internationally, where all the series are still available on Netflix and other streaming services. ViacomCBS has also partnered with Netflix and Amazon to stream some of their new Star Trek shows internationally. However, in the long term, as Paramount Plus expands globally, the Star Trek franchise may eventually follow the same pattern seen in the USA.
TrekMovie has reached out to both ViacomCBS and Netflix and we are awaiting comment.
Find more news on streaming and home video at TrekMovie.com.
That’s kind of annoying. I still usually use Netflix to watch Trek. I guess now I’ll have to use either Paramount +, Hulu, or Prime.
This news is NOT a bad thing!
The bad thing is paying Paramount+ and not having the whole Star Trek collection. Waiting to have all the movies and series in ONE place. :P
I have that. It’s called my bookshelf. :P
(I say this knowing some smartass will snag me on Lower Decks Season 2, Discovery Season 4, Picard Season 2 and Strange New Worlds Season 1)
Someone, I think here, sniped me for saying I like to have the option of streaming something I physically own when I’m away from home. But it’s true – I would happily visit a friend and watch a Star Trek movie with them one night. But I don’t want to suddenly have to subscribe to Showtime to do that.
True. Waiting for that moment. My issue is buying the latest digital format when (soon) will become obsolete. Eventually will begin to order the entire collection.
Same here. When all else fails you can always count on physical media.
Owning the physical media is still the best way to go.
I’m not the biggest Netflix fan, but they have the best interface, by far. It’s perfectly designed and intuitive. Paramount+ just slapped a new name on the ancient CBS All Access architecture. It’s a total mess, by far the worst streaming interface of them all. They only just added a friggin playlist feature! Even the selection of avatars is pathetic.
It’s not surprising that Trek is being used like this, it’s pattern behavior. But it would be nice if some effort was put into making P+ a halfway decent streamer.
Another negative about Paramount+ (and Peacock) is that it forgets what you have watched. I watched Lower Decks season 1 but if you looked now, it shows I haven’t watched any of the episodes. Netflix, HBO Max, Prime, Hulu, and Disney+ will remember what you have watched if you stop watching a series but return to it months later.
This will probably reduce further the number of people into Trek and turn fans like us only into a checkbook. Voyager’s late popularity AFIK is all Netflix based.
On the other hand… now… the fans…. Are in control!! Bwahahahaha!
While I do subscribe to Paramount plus to get the new shows, I’m doubly glad that I have my beloved TOS on BluRay.
Same here (and TAS, TNG, the first ten movies, the first season of Lower Decks, and the recent DS9 doc; I still need to get DS9 itself and Voyager on DVD and Enterprise on Blu-ray). Streaming is fantastically convenient, but physical media is still kind of a must for the “core” stuff one really cares about.
Why not just rip your whole Trek collection and stream it anywhere with Plex?
What is this “anywhere” of which you speak? :p
It’s a bit cumbersome, but you can download a Plex app to almost every smart TV and log in to your media server pc with Plex on it, and you can stream everywhere, in an emergency Trek withdrawal you can even stream to a mobile phone ;)
I figured, but I was more joking about “anywhere”, since I don’t really go places now the way I used to in The Before Times, way back in ancient 2019.
A lot of newer fans dropped in from Netflix in the last decade, they’d be wise to keep licensing. . I remember when the 2009 movie came out, more people than I had ever known were getting into it because of their availability.
I’m thinking that ViacomCBS will use Pluto to build the audience by offering the classic five live-action series and TAS for free with its advertising based streamer.
Pluto is doing very well in Latin America and the European countries where it launched.
As based video seems a natural successor to the years of syndicated Trek reruns many of us grew up with.
Still, it’s a double-edged sword to have to put up with ads vs. just continue using the most popular streaming service. I totally get the point of hoarding IP, feeding content to competitors is largely only good for short term gains at the expense of controlling distribution, and ViacomCBS doesn’t just have Paramount+ and Pluto to think about, it has its broadcast business which Netflix openly declared war on when it started producing original programming.
But I for one, if presented with the choice of Pluto or Netflix to get certain programming (especially a movie), would choose the latter every time, despite the price. I’m lucky to have that disposable income, but we have been lucky that CBS licensed Trek out so liberally a decade ago.
I don’t really want to shell out for Paramount+, until they have reliable new Trek content. Since I don’t own Enterprise or Voyager in a hard copy format, this is disappointing. So long as it’s still available on Amazon Prime though, I guess I’m okay. Those days seem numbered too though.
This happens as the streaming license is near its end. Plenty of time for Netflix and Paramount to renew the license. I really doubt very old episodes of ST is going to get more people subscribing to Paramount +.
Does Paramount+ have TOS with the original effects?
I wish, it bothers me I have to watch the crap CGI
They should have both if they’re going to be the home of STAR TREK. Right now I think Amazon Prime has both (the original and remastered).
Amazon does have both, thank you for pointing that out!
For quite awhile, Amazon was also the only place to get uncut Voyager season 5, everyone else had the US cuts which deleted scenes after delivery when UPN added more commercials mid-season.
It’s funny, I’ve had Amazon Prime for several years but I barely watch anything on it. Perhaps I should start!
Buy the BD. Then you will get a choice.
Whoa! Well… there we go. I think many of us had long wondered whether they’d continue to license the old stuff to other services indefinitely (non-exclusively, of course). Now we know.
Honestly, I can see benefits to either offering (non-exclusive) licenses for the older shows and movies to alternate services like Netflix, or bringing everything in-house to be exclusive to Paramount+; both paths can be part of viable strategies. Obviously, pulling everything back home makes P+ that much more of a vital, must-have service for fans of this franchise (the same way Disney+ is for fans of Marvel or Star Wars, say). OTOH, I could see having non-exclusive licenses for Trek being not only a great way to make more money from a variety of sources on the back catalogue, but also helping ensure the longevity of the franchise by making it easier for newcomers to the franchise to discover it and get hooked. Presumably Viacom has data indicating which is likelier to be more lucrative in the long-term.
Like others, though, I’m personally a bit disappointed. I have P+ for the new stuff, of course, but for streaming the older shows, I tend to prefer Netflix, simply because the interface is more comfortable, or even putting in physical discs like your great-great-great-great-grandfather used to. I guess eventually I’ll watch everything on P+, but man, Star Trek just felt like such a mainstay on Netflix for so long. I’m going to miss having it there.
Internationally it makes sense for them to keep selling the rights to new trek at least to other streaming services. Its their most expensive streaming franchise and they need the biggest return on it.
Paramount+ launched in Australia this month and there is no way they would make the same money streaming it themselves as they do selling it to the bigger services. I imagine after a few years of growth the new and old series will return home, if Paramount+ manages to gain a customer bases here.
But right now its early days
Rats, I am gonna miss the convenience of Trek on Netflix, it’s by far the most user-friendly of the streamers, light years ahead of P+. What always bothered me, though, was the “thumbnail” and “preview” for TOS – while other shows have carefully-crafted promos to hook you in, TOS had a poorly-formatted and boring clip from The Cage. Also all the thumbnail images for the episodes are of people, often very boring shots, which to me doesn’t seem very intuitive, considering a sci-fi show like Star Trek is often identified for its sci-fi imagery. I’d rather see a Gorn, the Fesarius, the Tholian Web in the thumbnail than some generic conference room still of the crew. It really feels like the people at Netflix have no idea how to make Star Trek look appealing.
I hate that DS9’s thumbnail on P+ is the only one that doesn’t feature the captain.
Man, I have Netflix almost just for the Star Trek content.
I would have no problem with this if Paramount+ had a better user interface. At least their streaming capacity is better these days.
One of the reasons my physical DVDs and BluRay are not going anywhere. I have ripped all my discs to hard drive, so it’s pretty convenient to watch Trek (and my other faves) as and when without having them suddenly disappear off the streaming services I subscribe to.
But nothing beats physical media when it comes to picture and sound quality, which is still far better than anything ripped or available on streaming.
Actually very happy that they are finally starting to go exclusive to Paramount Plus. This makes getting a subscription a no brainer now as a diehard Trekkie. It was hard to justify subscribing year round to basically just to watch one show (because no new Trek overlaps, and during Covid there’s been big gaps). It also has Twilight Zone and old Trek, but I also had Amazon for those, and I get so much more on Amazon.
If Paramount Plus eventually becomes the exclusive home for Trek (and likely TZ too at some point)– and they now add the Paramount movie catalog, and make more new originals, it becomes all the more easier justify the $10 a month on top of Amazon (the only service I currently have)– or even to cancel Amazon entirely.
I am considering Disney Plus too at some point, but probably not until next year, when Hawkeye, Moon Knight, Ms Marvel, and Secret Invasion have released. Right now i’m happy to drive to my father’s place and watch those shows with him (which has been a nice tradition during Covid).
I was planning to start watching all of Star Trek on Netflix this weekend, which will take several weeks to complete. I’m outside the US, I just hope I have time to watch it all before they remove it here too.
So many Streaming Sites to choose from and all have a cost. I’ve Netflix and Disney+ and I am happy with these two. They have everything I need.
But when Paramount+ goes international I am considering adding it to my list.
I’m glad I dropped Netflix 4 years ago. First they dropped MASH, then they dropped Cheers and now Star Trek. Netflix isn’t worth it any longer.
I think that Netflix will be losing the DC shows soon as well. Well, I still like Netflix’s documentaries, the The Toys that Made Us and the Movies that Made Us.
To be fair, they aren’t dropping Star Trek, the license holder — Paramount in this case — is pulling the show from Netflix for their own platform.
Glad I still have my DVDs and Blurays of everything.
So I’ll go back to the downloaded copies. Paramount+ or whatever they’ll call it next is ridiculous garbage.
My favorite shows are leaving I see it all the time
It’s not that disappointing because I have all the episodes of the first two series my favorites, which means now I will have to get the rest, which I had planned to do, anyhow!
Is the same happening on Netflix in Canada?
The shows are on BellMedia’s Crave in Canada.
Would be nice if we got some of the other TREK series streaming on PLUTO TV (owned by ViacomCBS) All we get is the THE NEXT GENERATION and it’s the same handful of episodes over-and-over!
Will this apply to Netflix UK (where we don’t have Paramount+)?
Not that big a deal. I have TOS discs and two seasons of Enterprise. Only DS9 would be a bit annoying as I am waiting (possibly forever) for DS9 on Blu ray. I don’t rely on streaming if it is something I want to see more than once.
I subscribed to Netflix 10 years ago, then I sold my Star Trek DVD collection. I may hold on to the subscription until they drop TNG and DS9, but I will definitely be unsubscribing from Netflix because of Star Trek.
Netflix is steadily becoming not worth the monthly fee