‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Stars Share International Fans’ Frustration Over Last-Minute Netflix Exit [UPDATED]

Yesterday’s news that Star Trek: Discovery was leaving Netflix, with season four’s international debut delayed until early 2022 on Paramount+, caught a lot of fans by surprise, coming just days before Thursday’s season premiere in the USA and Canada. But it wasn’t just fans who were caught off guard; so to were members of the cast and crew.

UPDATE: Sonequa and Showrunner add their frustration

On Thursday, Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green added her voice to the chorus. While promoting the USA/Canada launch of season four on Instagram, she added “For our beloveds all around the world, we the cast found out the news when you did, and we are GUTTED. Believe me when I say, we share your shock and frustration. You’ll know as soon as we know when and where you can see the show. And as always, much love.”

Also on Thursday co-showrunner Michelle Paradise expressed being “bummed” over the news that so many fans could not join in with the premiere, and reiterating how it “was news to us as well.”

Discovery stars reach out

After the news broke, members of the cast shared their thoughts about it on social media. The most effusive was Anthony Rapp (Paul Stamets), who made it clear that members of the cast learned the news at the same time as fans and “we share in your disappointment and frustration.” In an extended thread, Rapp noted that if the cast had known earlier it would have allowed them to help spread the word.

Members of the Discovery cast have been actively promoting the show under the assumption the fourth season was set to arrive this week on Netflix. The most recent of these was a panel held at Destination Star Trek London last weekend, mentioned by Rapp in his thread, which went on to talk about the support for the show he has seen coming from international fans at these events and gratitude on behalf of the cast to international fans.

 

Blu del Barrio (Adira) jumped in on Rapp’s thread to add their apologies and express their love of the fans.

Replying to a fan, Doug Jones (Saru) said he understood his frustration, and also noted the cast just found out.

Emily Coutts (Keyla Detmer) had a simple message for international fans, expressing her love.

Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber) was a bit more direct, channeling some of the same frustration as fans were expressing via a simple emoji.

And Patrick Kwok-Choon (Gen Rhys) used a classic angry Picard moment from Star Trek: First Contact to express his feelings.

Noah Averbach-Katz (who played the Andorian Ryn and is married to Tilly actress Mary Wiseman) said he was “gutted right now” over the news.

Science consultant Dr. Erin Macdonald took to Twitter to apologize for the delay until 2022, and to make it clear that this was a corporate decision beyond the awareness of the cast and crew.

The world notices

The announcement was reported in the media around the world, with some outlets even picking up on how it was impacting fans. Today, the venerated BBC ran an article titled “Star Trek Discovery fans angry as new season is pulled days before launch.” Other media outlets in the UK also covered the fan frustration story, including The Independent, Radio Times and The Mirror.

The news really lit up Star Trek social media on Tuesday. Here are a handful of Twitter reactions that tried to find some humor in it all…


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Well…. The damage is done.

There’s talk that Prarmount+ will be an add-on to a Sky subscription. If that’s the case, it’ll nearly quadruple what I pay to Netflix. Definitely not happening then. I’ll wait for the Blu-ray to appear in a year. This change from Netflix sucks big time!

At the very least in Germany, Paramount+ is only available via Sky…

You’d be getting it “for free” with the Sky Cinema Package (25€ per month) or as a paid Addon (likely 5-10€ additional charge per month) to any other Sky Package…

I assume it’s the same in the UK.
I don’t know which other countries have singular deals with ViacomCBS or any deals at all…

Others will get SkyShowtime a… weird mix between PayTV and Streaming Service as far as I can see but neither release dates nor prices were announced so far but unlikely that they will be in any way “competitive”.

Rumors have it that Germany will have P+ as late as June…

Rumors have it that Germany will have P+ as late as June…

At that time most fans will have seen that episodes before…

So…living in France, will i also have to skip the TrekMovie podcast now, not to get spoilers??? Nooooooo!
It was bearable while it was just Prodigy, but now with Disco….
Could you guys make a spoiler free podcast?

Our weekly All Access podcasts include a news segment and then the review. We also list the time when the review starts. While Discovery is airing we will put any Disco news at the end of the news segment before the review. So just listen to the news. As for Shuttlepod, those tend to cover other areas of Trek without any spoilers.

thanks for the reply
i guess I love the All Access podcast so much that I’ll end up listening till the end just to hear your comments on the show…
a friendly Hello to you and Laurie from A French fan

Lovely to hear. Thank you, Alex!

I’ll be navigating All Access very carefully as I’d hate to miss you and Tony’s weekly podcast, which really brightens my weekend.

That comment just brightened my week! (And we always say what time the review starts at the top of our post on the site, so you’ll know when to stop listening.)

Thanks Anthony and Laurie, the “All Access podcasts” are recued :)

Yeah ditto, Scott. Not so much a podcast as a weekly pick-me-up. In New Zealand we can’t get Prodigy or Discovery now, and I went to buy my friend Lower Decks S1 on blu-ray and it’s not even in the country,even months after it came out in the US. Seems like the only way to watch new Trek here now is with a VPN or something. Depressing.

Hi Anthony…

Just a random comment not at all related to the podcasts.

There is a new CEO running things at P+-CBS-VC now. One of his core goals is certainly speedy revenue accretion and the unification of all IP under one streaming umbrella for the company to better compete with Amazon, Disney, Apple, and NFLX.

So the staff negotiating terms with NFLX called in the contract without thinking of the global customer experience issues, launch calendars, or the PR issues that would be created… or that could have been avoided by just slowing down and thinking logically about the matter.

Think about it: ALL of your global audience outside of the US and Canada are like Worf right now… “I am not a merry man!!!”

How can P+ solve for this anger and its negative revenue impact prior to the launch of DISCO S4?

– Go back to NFLX and put the season back on that service? They won’t do that as NFLX will justifiably charge a much higher fee. (Prisoner dilemma….)

– Show DISCO S4 globally for free on a global access P+ portal for right now, then set up the global/regional payment or subscription plan at mid season. They won’t do that….

– Delay this whole IP streaming unification plan until SNW in May 2022, then suck it up now and go back to idea #1 and pay the higher NFLX distribution fee so that DISCO S4 can start this week in all regions. So many fans have renewed with NFLX already just to see DISCO. Cheaper to sign that contract and make customers happy than to have angry customers reject P+ out of spite. They won’t do this….

– In non US/Canada regions, show each DISCO S4 episode in theaters each week starting this week or next… with one ST motion picture immediately following the DISCO ep. That way you get per-person ticketing fees in exchange for the subscription fee (which could generate higher revenues) and you create both happy fans and new fans with big screen showings of the Older films. They won’t do that….

– Let fans stay angry and let them pirate the show or leave Trek altogether. They will do this.

We’ve had an embarrassment of riches in the USA this year of leaders bungling things for the people. This self-inflicted, bungling injury is embarrassing. I don’t think it will be the last, unfortunately.

I feel like an orphan. after so many years we fans around the world have begun to feel an active part of the community. I never miss a podcast episode. by the way … it’s the right occasion to thank you. thanks Tony and Laurie and the Shuttlepod guys. sorry, it’s a moment of despair. it will pass. as always … Star Trek is joy and pain.

Star Trek is joy and pain.
Truer words were never spoken.

Tarnwood, the new head of P+ hasn’t been in the role for very long so don’t lay this in him.

Also, I don’t think that any of your options are legally or financially feasible.

The CEO of ViacomCBS noted at investor meetings early in the year that the new policy for the entire corporation was to discontinue the kind of exclusive licences that it had been granting to Netflix. From early on in 2021 on, ViacomCBS corporate policy is to always ensure that one of its streamers could also show any content it makes.

Also, the upcoming renewal negotiations with Netflix for Discovery in 2021were specifically noted. (That is, five years from the originally scheduled launch of Discovery in 2016.)

So, it was absolutely public knowledge that the negotiation for the new licence for Discovery was happening.

We can’t know for sure who played chicken in the negotiations, but implication is that ViacomCBS kept trying to get a deal with Netflix so that Discovery could run on both Netflix AND Paramount+, but Netflix didn’t want to deal. When the clock ran out, Paramount+ would have had to exercise its buyout provision in the initial agreement.

The only thing I see that can be faulted here is that Paramount+ didn’t cut line earlier. That seems likely to have been something that is more likely to be related to leaving the final decision until after the change in senior leadership in the eleventh hour of the negotiation.

That’s a savvy way to handle it. I’m in the States, but I’m sure international listeners greatly appreciate the approach.

I’d bet you won’t get Paramount+ in France for a long time because of the French requirement to include a proportion of French-made content on any service. I can’t see them wanting to offer that. Perhaps that’s a model that other countries should adopt to discourage these vertical monopolies.

I have to say, while the whole cast and crew seem like good folk, everything I’ve seen from Rapp over the years makes me think he’s a really stellar person, no pun intended.

Thanks to all cast and crew for your “condolences”. It’s a major nuisance having to wait months before seeing this but that would NOT be my main concern.

If P+ becomes only available as a SkyQ add-on, I am not willing to do this. It’s not even the money I’m concerned about. I’m simply not willing to attach any additional device to my router that already runs less than stellar in stability. Such an addition would be an additional troublemaker.

I truly hope P+ will become available as a regular browser-based streaming service in Germany.

Wait, so they also expect us to buy actual TVs? :|

I also hope for same here in UK. The Sky add on is too expensive and like you I hope for a Disney + style standalone app.

Oh my…what were they thinking!? Is not only Anglo and European nations, right!? Must be in other countries as well. I’ll be very sad if that is my situation.

I wonder how many countries and fans will be affected.

At the moment a lot! The info from Deadline states only 45 countries total are even expected to get P+ in 2022 and half of those will be much later in the year. With Netflix, the show was in 190 countries. That what was so amazing about it, Star Trek was being seen nearly in the entire world. It finally had a global audience that it’s never really had before. So yeah, do the math, this move will cut off 145 countries and probably at least several million fans. That just sucks beyond belief.

May I ask where you are from Jay? I know how much of a devoted fan you are, it sucks it affects so many including all the great members on this board I’ve gotten to talk to and respect over the years.

With Netflix, the show was in 190 countries. That what was so amazing about it, Star Trek was being seen nearly in the entire world.

And not only that. It was seen at the same time (or at least) with one day difference. Episodes were discussed at the same time worldwide. No that has gone and thhe momentum has been lost. P+ don’t understand what they have damaged.

Wow. So many countries will now be excluded. I’m still in shock about this, not a very wise corporate move. You read the article and it seems Paramount pulled the plug. But when you check other sources online, some blame Netflix. Feel bad for all the international fans.

I agree with DaveCGN. Pretty much all the TV shows were being seen everywhere with Netflix. This is why DS9 and Voyage made a successful comeback. Really hope they find a good solution soon.

Sorry, missed answering your question. I am from Puerto Rico but lived in Massachusetts since my college years. Recently moved to Maryland.

I am so grateful for Star Trek. Believe it or not, learned conversational English with STNG. It was the only show with no slang. No fast-talking.

I have to thank two friends. My first roommate. He gave me a crash course after watching seasons 2-3 during a summer break. I knew TOS but did not watch the show back home. Even as a kid, it was weird to listen and understand the techno-babble, translated into Spanish. :P

My second friend, I owe him big time. After graduation, went to work in Japan. I was in the countryside. We had no streaming back then. And video rental was only for a small selection of movies. Not TV shows. The only shows I could watch on TV were Kojak and Starsky and Hutch. After midnight. So depressing.

From Boston, he recorded (and mailed) the entire seasons 1 and 2 of Star Trek: Enterprise. So grateful. I had all the foreigners in my apartment every time I got a new (VHS) tape on my mailbox. They were shared all over Japan, I swear. So grateful he sent me those tapes.

After my return to the states, the VHS tapes ended up in Tokyo with friends of friends. All watching Archer and his crew. This is why my empathy with foreigners, feel bad for them, with this Discovery Legal/PR move.

I complain, too much sometimes, but I have my deep respect for the franchise. The actors and creative department. The whole production. The executives taking wrong decisions, not so much, but I understand that is part of whole equation.

Discovery was always intended to be a CBS All Access exclusive (now Paramount+) and now Paramount+ has expanded into other regions they need exclusive content. You can’t add subscribers if your originals are premiering on other services.

“Picard” and “Lower Decks” will likely be next to be pulled from Prime outside of the U.S.and don’t be surprised if an announcement is made that “Strange New Worlds” will be exclusive to Paramount+ when it premieres.

Discovery and Picard were created solely for the purpose of driving subscriptions in the U.S. Now that Paramount+ is rolling out overseas the hope is that they’ll do the same in Europe and elsewhere.

So, Paramount+ has NO plans for release in my country.
Got 2 options:

  1. Wait for the DVD, release one year later. (and because of spoilers, no internet for the entire year)
  2. Illegal download

People working at Star Trek should get paid for their awesome work. But now, that’s not even an option.

Option 3: get a VPN.

That was my thought as well. I know that is another expense many people may not be able to afford. My sister went through something similar. Because of where she currently lives, she cannot access Facebook or other forms of social media without the use of a VPN. That being said, I COMPLETELY understand people’s frustration with this. If I lived in one of those places, I would likely be up in arms as well.

I haven’t tried it myself but I’ve read that even if you use a VPN Paramount Plus won’t accept sign-up with a foreign credit card or paypal account. So it’s not enough to connect to their servers through a US IP address, you would also need as US payment method.

a vpn does not solve the language problem. I have no problem watching original language films, but most people can’t. my wife and daughters need dubbing …

I know … I have been good and i have a family of nerds

Sure, that’s another problem. I also watch the show in English even though it isn’t my native tongue so I’m not affected by that but a lot of people in non-English speaking countries prefer to watch it in their languages.

Understandably, it would be pretty frustrating for the cast to know they did what they could to promote the show and then have this happen unexpectedly.

Maybe the delayed decision was due to hard negotiating by CBS Viacom OR maybe it was due to mismanagement and incompetence. Either way, in retrospect the studio and distributors could have mitigated much of the ill feelings by giving the cast a simple talking point message for the fans when they were out there promoting the show in markets outside the US and Canada – something like: “Hey we are here to promote Discovery and the upcoming season. We know there is no finalized distribution deal yet for our international markets, but we do understand that something will be done with a distributor – either by November or at the latest sometime hopefully no later than early 2022… so get ready for Season 4!”.

Paramount + will be available for a subscription in the UK and certain EU territories, through a standalone app on Amazon Prime and Google Play. You do not have to fork out for Sky TV to be able to access it.
For those of you angry at the delay, that doesn’t help much.

Thanks for sharing.

Ok for the standalone App (that is better actually) but i hope we don’t have to wait too long for this !

Kudos to the cast for showing solidarity with the fans in what is unquestionably a PR disaster on an international scale by Paramount +.

Hmmm… between this and “Center Seat”, the world doesn’t want streaming Trek fans to get content! So disappointed right now that it’s all boiling down to money grabs at the expense of the fans.

Thank you, cast!!

Star Trek: Discovery still displayed on Netflix in Japan on Tuesday. There was no message about new episodes or that the series was leaving. On Wednesday, it was simply gone. Star Trek:TNG was recommended though.

This is a crappy way to do business. I will be among those waiting for Blu-Ray. Since spoilers are the norm here, I will still keep up with Disco news.

I see a lot of comments blaming Paramount + but maybe the decision was on Netflix? We don’t really know all the contractual details but at least in the beginning it seemed like they paid a lot of money up front for Star Trek. Whether it ever paid dividends for them is unknown. Combine that with all of the competition among streaming platforms and if Star Trek never found the audience they hoped for maybe they decided to cut their losses. Or maybe they pay less money but get to air the shows at a later date? Honestly I am not that surprised the last few shows didn’t have Netflix announcements attached to them. Too bad though this announcement wasn’t made in advance. I too feel like for those that want to see it they will find a way…legal or otherwise.

It’s all Paramount+. Discovery was produced specifically for CBS All Access. Deals were struck to provide the shows in other regions. Now that Paramount+ is expanding beyond the U.S. they need their content back to promote Paramount+. It was never if but when.

I cancelled my Netflix subscribtion totay. The only way to deal with my frustration

I cancelled mine about a year ago and another friend just cancelled her’s last week. Netflix had a good (great run) and they still have tons of subs and content, but the streaming game has gotten a lot more competitive in the last couple of years. They were quite honestly the “only game in town” for a long time (kind of the default streaming provider for over a decade), but that is no longer the case. Star Trek leaving them as their international distributor of Discovery is just another example of content migrating elsewhere.
Sadly it is the international fans (outside of Canada) who got shafted on this one. Whether the fault lies with CBS Viacom or Netflix, the messaging could have easily been better managed. Not good!

Why are people surprised? We’ve seen nothing but incompetence from the people running the franchise for ages now.

You realize this decision has absolutely nothing to do with Trek show runners, or really anyone involved with Trek at all. This decision was made by the CBSViacom higher-ups, and from the looks of it, no one involved in Trek even knew this was happening until the public announcement was made.

Netflix cancelled today!

As long as Lower Decks is available on Amazon Prime all is well.

Let’s hope that doesn’t change just a few days before season 3 (same for Picard )

There is some speculation that the original deal with Netflix was for 3 seasons and ViacomCBS opted not to renew it. It’s possible they have similar 3 season deals with Amazon Prime but who knows? It seems clear ViacomCBS is really trying to bring the shows “home” to Paramount Plus even if that means alienating international fans temporarily (as this move with Discovery shows).

Netflix has the exact metric to gauge the worth of a series.
Sad to say, a fourth season of Discovery isn’t worth them buying at the price Paramount wanted.
I’m slightly surprised that the cast are surprised, they’ve known that the show has struggled to gain popularity for a while now.

Why would the cast have any idea that ViacomCBS would drop this type of a bombshell only TWO days before it was set to premiere on Netflix internationally.

More importantly, where are you getting that the show is unpopular? Considering the outcry over this decision, I’d say Discovery is pretty damn popular over seas.

Paramount+, not Atmos, no 4K, no HDR and late releases outside US/Canada. Sounds like a real winner!

Ya know how badly AT&T screwed up everything about HBO Max?

Paramount+: hold my beer.

More annoyed that all other trek is leaving netflix. Was always nice to dip into an episode of any show whenever you wanted.

It’s like the suits don’t realise they have customers, for that’s what we are when you strip away the fan pain, outside the US. These things are sold outside the domestic market as an afterthought and we don’t matter. We really don’t. If we did they wouldn’t do this because actually is straight out of the manual on how not to do customer service.

While I *might* have paid for yet another subscription to a streaming service just to watch Disco, it will be a cold day in hell before I pay any money to any company that involves Murdoch or Sky.

I’ll just download Disco from now on and keep watching Picard and Lower Decks on Amazon Prime.

Additionally, having paid for TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT and the movies on VHS, DVD, Bluray, streaming, subscription and advert based TV, all the books, figures, collectables, CDs, comic books, pins, badges, starships models, clothes and everything else that I have purchased, I will not feel the slightest bit bad about doing so.

Expect Picard and Lower decks to eventually shift over to Paramount+ as well. When Discovery launched on All Access, All Access was available only in the U.S. Now that Paramount+ is expanding into other regions those deals will likely expire as well.

It’s only a matter of time.