ViacomCBS Rebrands As Paramount, Highlights Star Trek And Global Streaming Expansion

In addition to the announcement about the 2023 Star Trek film, there was more news from the ViacomCBS Investor Day event that included new corporate branding, Paramount Plus expansion news, and talk of the Trek franchise.

Star Trek’s place in Paramount

The announcement for the 2023 Star Trek movie was part of a larger segment focusing on the franchise during the event. J.J. Abrams and the Star Trek section were introduced by Brian Robbins, Paramount Pictures CEO and head of children’s programming for Paramount+. He contextualized Star Trek into how it fits with the larger corporate strategy:

There’s so much more, so much more content, creativity and innovations coming, and pulling it all together, Paramount’s legendary list of beloved IP, the high profile star power throughout our ecosystem, and the generation defining hits birth by Nickelodeon, all make Paramount+ the home to the biggest, most iconic franchises, serving everyone from preschoolers to boomers and generations X, Y and Z. So if you’re a fan of any of these, then you must have Paramount+. And what’s more, these titles will live across films, in series, in consumer products, fueling global fandoms and driving subscriptions, engagement and retention. And when it comes to global fandoms there is nothing like Star Trek fandom and here to talk about what’s next in that universe is J.J. Abrams…

After Abrams made his announcement, there was a pre-recorded video featuring stars of the current Star Trek series. Patrick Stewart (Picard), Sonequa Martin-Green (Discovery), and Anson Mount (Strange New Worlds) appeared (via the magic of greenscreen) on what looked like the transporter room set from Strange New Worlds. Kate Mulgrew was animated as Prodigy‘s Hologram Janeway on the USS Protostar.

Stewart set the stage:

We’ve all gazed up at the night sky and wondered what’s out there? The universe, infinite and unknowable. That is until you gather a few souls brave enough to explore it. Star Trek!

The group then shared the narration…

[Mulgrew] Souls of all species who couldn’t be more different [Martin-Green] coming together for the great good [Mount] and sometimes not so good. Sometimes you are dangling out of an airlock holding on for deal life because you insulted some alien’s mother in a way you never knew possible. [Martin-Green] I’ve done that. [Mulgrew] Me too. [Martin-Green] And through these adventures, both epic and human [Stewart] we find hope for a brighter future. [Mount] For new frontiers. [Mulgrew] For new civilizations. [Martin-Green] With the same mission, always… [Stewart] Let’s get to it, shall we?

Anson Mount introduces Strange New Worlds

As Martin-Green and Stewart beamed away, Mount stayed behind to introduce the next Trek for Paramount+:

Star Trek has always looked to the future. But this year we’ll head to the Enterprise’s past and the new prequel series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds with me as Captain Pike. We’ll explore unexpected places throughout the galaxy on adventures that get right to the heart of what makes Star Trek so great.

Mount then introduced a trailer for Strange New Worlds; however as of now Paramount has not released the trailer online, and there are no indications if or when it will be released. The investor day event included a number of elements that were kept for investors only; the initial live stream did show trailer, but this may have been a mistake, as Paramount has made it clear they do not want images or video of the trailer shared. The republished stream from the investor event does not include the trailer. If and when any new trailer or promo is released we will of course report on it.

Paramount+ promo highlights Star Trek

While the Strange New Worlds trailer is not available, Paramount+ did release a general promo for the streaming service with the Star Trek shows prominently featured. However, there was no new footage in the promo.

Now it’s all Paramount

Last year, ViacomCBS rebranded and relaunched CBS All Access as Paramount+ as the company pivoted to focus on streaming. Yesterday, the company revealed Paramount+ has grown to have 32.8 million subscribers globally, which was driven by record signups in the fourth quarter in the USA.

And yesterday this focus on Paramount+ and streaming was made even more evident as now the corporation itself is being rebranded as Paramount Global, or more simply, just “Paramount.” The announcement was made by Board Chair Shari Redstone along with CEO Bob Bakish. The company also posted an animation to announce the change on social media.

Paramount+ global plans

The Star Trek franchise is a cornerstone of Paramount+ in the USA as it becomes the exclusive home for all of Star Trek. And with the exception of Canada (where new Star Trek shows find their home on CTV Sci-Fi and Crave), Paramount is moving away from international third-party license deals, as evidenced by last year’s buyback of Star Trek: Discovery international rights from Netflix. While Lower Decks and Picard appear to be safe on Prime Video internationally, Prodigy and Strange New Worlds (and likely any future Trek shows) appear to be part of the global expansion of Paramount+.

Paramount+ has already launched in 25 markets around the world, including Latin America, Australia, and the Nordic Countries in Europe. During the Investor Day event, Paramount’s head of streaming Tom Ryan revealed the service will launch in the UK, South Korea, and the Caribbean this summer, with Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Austria launching in the second half of the year. In some cases, this expansion will be done by working with strategic partners, such as Sky in Europe. And in Eastern Europe, Paramount is working with Sky on a joint venture streaming service called SkyShowtime launching later this year, which will include Paramount+ original programming (although the inclusion of Star Trek has not yet been confirmed). Looking ahead to 2023, Ryan said Paramount will “turn our sights to Asia, Africa and the Middle East, building on our momentum to bring Paramount+ to every region of the world.”

From Investor Day event (Paramount)

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Silly question. Does this mean CBS – the cable channel, will now be called Paramount ?

No. CBS remains CBS; its boss is now named Paramount.

Not a silly question at all!

Paramount is now the parent company for all related brands and that includes Paramount Pictures, CBS (broadcast network), MTV, Nick, etc.

Paramount is a world recognized entertainment brand with a history going back over 100 years so this makes a lot of sense.

Nah. NBC is still NBC, even though it’s owned by Comcast.

And ABC is still ABC even though it’s owned by Disney.

And thus things have come full circle.

No. Bring back Desilu!

I think Bell Media in Canada should take a cue from ViacomCBS and rebrand their streaming service as Bell plus.

Somehow Paolo, I had immediate visions of some Bell marketers in the 1980s trying to upsale me to a telephone service bundle with call waiting and call return.

Unlike Paramount or Disney, Bell will always evoke a telephone company in Canada first, and deservedly so even if AG worked on many other technologies at Lac Bras d’Or.

For those of us north of the border, the writing has been on the wall for over a decade that streaming channels are the future of entertainment.

We have been lucky that Bell Media, former Space Channel and now the Sci-Fi channel were able to secure Discovery, Short Treks, Picard, LDs, Prodigy and SNW – but we all know the time is coming when we will eventually have to add Paramount+ as one of our streaming apps. Let’s hope that comes later, rather than sooner.

I’d not be surprised to see Mission Impossible return to episodic streaming. If there were ever a Paramount owned IP where this format is perfect, the IMF is it.

Especially given how huge Reacher has apparently been for Amazon.

I suspect once M:I-8 is released, they’ll do a spin-off for TV. Cruise probably doesn’t want to dilute the movie franchise, similar to how the Bond franchise never does a Moneypenny show or anything like that.

But once the final film (as 8 is strongly rumored to be) happens, you could easily see a show that features the likes of Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Angela Basset etc (assuming their characters survive) on a regular or recurring basis, and there are other IMF team characters we’ve not seen for awhile who could come back to lead a series as well; Maggie Q, Jeremy Renner, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers or Paula Patton are all real possibilities.

A return to TV definitely makes sense while they plot what to do with the movies post-Cruise. It’s an incredibly important film franchise to Paramount, but that’s more for prestige and market share than it is profit – like Star Trek, these movies don’t actually make a ton of money for the studio once expenses and profit participation deals are squared away. M:7 is going to be lucky to break even with a $290 million price tag.

Now if only they made a good app with modern features!

Cool. I finally own Paramount stocks :-)

Being in the UK I was hoping that Paramount+ would be available as a standalone app like Disney+. I’m not thrilled about having to sign up to Sky to access this service.

Fully agreed. They had better offer a browser-based subscription service or I won’t be on board. No Sky more me…

It is NOT difficult to get around geoblocking limitations.
Get a good VPN (virtual private network) I recommend Express VPN. It allow for 5 simultaneous connections. It also has a free 30 day money back guarantee. Wait until a season finishes. Sign up for VPN binge out as much Trek as you can in under 30 days. Pay Par+ $10.00 for the commercial free option. Cancel the VPN on day 29. Cancel Par+ on day 30. SNW, DSC, Picard, and Prodigy will be 40-50 hours of viewing if you wait until end of season. Problem solved, for $10.00. This whinging about how Par+ decides to do it’s business is tiresome. It cost $12.00 for two Costa Lotta Lattes at Starbux.

I’ve read that Paramount+ also doesn’t accept foreign credit cards as a payment method so simply getting a VPN may not be enough.

“This whinging about how Par+ decides to do it’s business is tiresome.”

But why should people have to go out their way to access it? There is an absolute ton of other, easy to access options out there and Paramount has started off in the worse way possible by leaving a bad taste in international fans mouths.

I just haven’t bothered with the latest season of Discovery and I am very loathe to give any money to a company who treats their customers like this

Sky is their partner to get the service in front of more eyeballs, but is not the only way to get it.

Paramount+ will also be available direct-to-consumer in UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria through the Paramount+ app for iOS and Android and across supported smart TVs and streaming devices.

Thanks Matt for the clarification. I’m sure for many this will be great news and I’ll certainly join via the app route (using my Roku streaming stick as my TV at ~5 years old is a little long in the tooth software wise to be able to handle modern apps like Disney +).

Really looking forward to joining the service that has all Trek in one place including much that I’ve not seen such as “Short Treks” and “Prodigy”.,

It will be a stand alone app too and you will be able to get it on your smart tv or mobile. Obviously there will be a subscription involved so you don’t have to have Sky TV (although if you do have it and you have Sky Cinema, there is no extra charge).

Thanks Sue. I’m now officially getting excited and can’t wait to access the service.

Great! A broken home mended. So… can we have Season 5 of Enterprise now? :lol:

I wonder if the fan film rules will change back to what it was before CBS stepped in.

I’d put those odds at south of slim to none.

Unlikely, especially with the streaming landscape as it is now.

Dammit! I had hoped that Paramount+ would be rolled out here in time for Strange New Worlds. It’s bad enough that Prodigy isn’t available. Now another new Trek show.

They really are very glacially slow on the rollout. Reaching 40 countries in a way of over 160 countries is not a high bar for 2023.

I suspect though that their international success in selling cable channels and programming has been holding them back.

MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon have a large overseas footprint, even the Showtime brand was sold in Asia. However, much of this is through licensees and partnerships. Paramount+ will be competing with and replacing those cable channels over time. Exit strategies for those relationships (e.g. with European providers) or transitioning to cable companies carrying Paramount+ instead, sounds to be a long and painful process.

I look forward to hearing Anthony talk about all of this on All Access this week!

Me too. I love tuning in for the weekly “All Access”.

This really proves just how important streaming has become for the studios. I think when CBS All Access was launched, it was more of an after thought. Something to put their shows on and make a little profit from. Most of us never even heard of it until a new Star Trek show was announced on it. And it did feel like a joke for years when compared to the big boys out there.

But now…

Things are veeeery different. They are throwing crazy money at P+ now and committed to making it a global and exclusive brand. They plan to make every film exclusive to that site and only that site once they finish in theaters. It doesn’t sound like they are going to bother putting films on Blu ray route anymore (or at least not right away) or on cable. But maybe I’m wrong on that.

But for us Star Trek fans, this is nothing but great news. Even if you hate all the new shows and believes Kurtzman is part of a QAnon plot, they have completely committed themselves to that brand and now with the movies finally getting its act together again, they can start building films both for the theaters and my guess exclusively for P+ as well in the future. That will take more time, but it will probably happen.

Yeah I just posted above that we are lucky up here to have Bell Media and the Sci Fi Channel, but eventually we know we will have to join the rest of the world and add Paramount+ to our streaming apps – let’s just hope that is later rather than sooner.

Btw, I wonder if anyone has posted anything about the SNW trailer at the Investor Meeting?

It sounds like you will be good for awhile at least, but I agree, it will probably happen at some point and P+ will be the go-to site for all things Trek. You know my feelings on it, I never complained about Star Trek going to a streaming site, because frankly I don’t know if we would’ve even gotten another show without it. Maybe by now, but certainly not at this level this fast either.

As far as the trailer for SNW, I found nothing and I looked lol. I haven’t found one post anyone of someone giving the run down to it. But maybe someone will spill in the next few days. I just think it’s crazy how they are marketing this show, which is not at all. It starts in less than 3 months and still nothing. Both Picard and Discovery released trailers 6+ months apart in their opening seasons. So its very odd. But same time I think both LDS and Prodigy didn’t release anything until 1-2 months before airing. And my guess is they aren’t trying to grab a lot of new people like with DIS and PIC and satisfied there are enough people in the bubble who is going to watch it even if we never saw a single image until the premiere.

But maybe we’ll all be surprised and get it this week!

I saw one video post regarding the Star Trek 14 info released on the investor call, and they said they were absolutely under strict orders not to release any details about the SNW trailer. Oh well, I guess we will just have to wait! Hopefully not for much longer!

I’ve seen a few pictures and can honestly say I didn’t see anything new or something which offers spoilers.

Interesting but again weird. I guess it will just comes when it comes.

I have found a few screen shots from the big event the article is discussing. But it’s just screen shots of the new bridge, which looks only slightly different from what we saw on Discovery and one shot of Uhura sitting on the bridge. That’s it!

But if people are just looking for random spoilers of any kind, there has been behind-the-scenes pics of the season finale from a few Youtube sites about six months ago. I won’t give anything away, nothing huge but the story does seem to connect to one of the classic shows based on some of the aliens in it who were only been in one episode prior.

I also found someone describing a scene from the first episode that is mostly about Uhura and gives a LOT of backstory to the character never heard before. Again, nothing huge, but it’s out there. Found that one on Youtube as well.


Looks like I finally found an article discussing the trailer (YAY). But yeah, not a lot. And they said it was just a teaser trailer and only a minute long. So don’t get too excited before you read it, but here it is:

The only thing that sounded a bit spoilery is Spock kissing someone. But now we know, right?

I suppose that this “someone” is

T’Pring from Amok Time. I immediately recognised her

Another well known independent Trek news source was removed from Twitter for sharing some of the images or screencaps from the investors meeting.

If seemed as though it was publicly available for reporting on, but Paramount is reported to have made the complaint to Twitter.

I’m not sure that CBSAllAccess was an afterthought. Les Moonves had a vision that streaming was where things were going and built the guts of what is now Paramount+ pretty much from the beginning on its television end. The original movie end was definitely an afterthought. Moonves proved to be a bad person, but he did have some vision of where media was headed.

Well maybe that was the wrong word and I agree Moonves saw where the tide was turning. I was saying that as far back as 2016 that this was the beginning of the future and now look where we are? Good or bad, it’s the new reality.

But there wasn’t any real ambition (maybe that’s a better word) in the beginning with AA either. The site went two years without one piece of new content on it. That’s why no one really knew about it, there was nothing on it to get people’s attention because everything on it could be watched for free on your TV already outside of old and classic shows. Their movie library was a joke. There was no real diverse content on it or brands like MTV, BET, Comedy Central, etc like there is now. It felt so bare.

Today streaming start ups are very different. Disney+ and HBO Max spent billions out of the gate on new content and why both surpassed P+ in subscribers in their first year. P+ is now playing catch up, but they are in the game now. I still don’t know a single person that has it, but at least now most know what it is lol. Two years ago, many still never even heard of it.

And I think it was huge mistake to call it CBS All Access. Beside the fact it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue it sounds like something only your grandparents or anyone over 60 would really want.

Yeah, I cut the Comcast premium cable cord back in early 2015 while living in the US and supplemented my basic cable with Netflix, Hulu, (which eventually became P+), NHL TV, etc. I would give Moonves credit for seeing the future potential of streaming, if he did so pre-2010. Even I knew that was the future by 2015 and all I do is watch tv haha!

A long way to go in terms of getting Trek out to international audiences. I don’t even think they’re syndicating out older re-runs to regular TV stations in countries where it’s not available. Here in Russia, we used to get Game of Thrones on regular TV, maybe one or two seasons behind, every Saturday and Sunday. In any case, still quite a ways away from world domination a la Star Wars or Marvel,