The fourth season of Star Trek: Discovery debuts on Thursday in the USA and Canada. But unlike the previous seasons, it will not also be launching on Netflix outside North America. ViacomCBS is bringing the show home to its own streaming service.
Pulling Discovery back to Paramount+
Star Trek: Discovery will be leaving Netflix for good. ViacomCBS just announced the series is moving to Paramount+ internationally. According to Deadline the news coming so soon before the launch of season four was due to a just closed deal for ViacomCBS to buy out Netflix, which has been a co-producer of Discovery since it launched in 2017. According to that report, the current three seasons of Discovery will be removed from Netflix as of this week.
Star Trek: Discovery, including season four, will be made available in early 2022 to international viewers on their local version of Paramount+. This includes the current countries with Paramount+ as well as new countries where Paramount+ is launching in 2022, including Europe. Star Trek: Prodigy has also been confirmed to be part of the Sky/Paramount+ launch, and it is expected Strange New Worlds will also become available on Paramount+ internationally.
No changes for Canada
The announcement reiterated that nothing will change for Canada. Discovery will stay on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave. That includes the premiere of season four this week.
Picard and Lower Decks remain on Amazon… for now
The Deadline article also reassured international fans that Star Trek: Picard will still be on Amazon Prime Video outside of North America, as will Star Trek: Lower Decks which has a deal on Amazon outside of the US, Canada, and Latin America.
Stepping away from Netflix had already begun
The entire Star Trek television catalog became available on Netflix in 2011 in one of the earliest big streaming deals for CBS. In 2016 Netflix was announced as the international distribution partner for Discovery outside North America, where it was promoted as a “Netflix original series.”
Since the 2017 launch of Discovery on CBS All Access in the USA and Netflix internationally, a lot has changed, including the re-merger of Viacom and CBS and the launch of Paramount+, which has become a primary focus for the media company. ViacomCBS has been expanding Paramount+ globally with more launches announced for 2022. Apparently, this deal is all part of that strategy, with ViacomCBS international streaming boss Kelly Day telling Deadline:
As we rapidly expand our global streaming footprint, we are bringing more of our top titles home to ViacomCBS for Paramount+ markets around the world. We have a strong global and local content pipeline that positions us for success across our regions, and repatriating beloved series like Star Trek: Discovery for Paramount+ is another step forward as we bring fans more must-watch series worldwide.
The first sign of ViacomCBS and Netflix decoupling came in September with the departure of three Star Trek series from Netflix USA. This is part of ViacomCBS’ new focus on their own streaming service and their move away from third-party licensing. It’s likely the rest of the Trek catalog will leave Netflix USA when contracts expire, and the same may happen internationally once Paramount+ is established in each territory.
While bringing Discovery to Paramount+ may fit with the evolving global expansion strategy, that is little comfort to international fans who were looking forward to watching the season four premiere this week.
Keep up with the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.