ALMOST ZERO SPOILERS!
The fourth season of the wild ‘n’ wacky STAR TREK: DISCOVERY just premiered…at least in the U.S. and Canada. The rest of the planet will need to wait until an undefined date in “early 2022” (according to CBS) to view the new season because, um, reasons.
Up until this past week, viewers around the world (outside of the U.S. and Canada) got to watch Discovery on Netflix. This was because the infrastructure —both technical and red tape—to set up CBS All Access, which is now Paramount+, was not yet properly in place in other countries. In other words, without a service like Netflix—or in the case of PICARD and LOWER DECKS, Amazon Prime—there would be no way for international Star Trek fans to watch the various new series. So CBS offered non-U.S. and Canada streaming licenses to those two services.
But now, with Paramount+ now available in about 20 foreign countries (and another 25 set to add the service within the next year), the equation had changed entirely. CBS began unwinding its streaming agreements with Netflix earlier this year when TOS, Voyager, and Enterprise were all permanently removed from Netflix back in September. Obviously, CBS (now ViacomCBS) wants as many subscribers to Paramount+ as possible, and having their content simultaneously available on Netflix doesn’t exactly encourage folks in places like Europe, Asia, and Australia to sign up for an extra paid streaming service.
Indeed, reports are saying that VCBS had been working an agreement to buy out all of Netflix’s financial interest in Star Trek: Discovery, a show they had co-produced with CBS back in 2017. Unfortunately for fans in countries that do NOT contain the Rocky Mountains or share a coastline with the Great Lakes, that deal was finally inked this past week, and the announcement that Discovery would NOT be debuting internationally on Netflix on Thursday, November 18 came on November 16…just two days before hundreds of thousands of fans outside of North America were looking forward to the big premiere.
CBS tried to put some lipstick on this pig…
…but in the end, few besides the suits at VCBS were particularly happy about the last minute “news.” This included the Discovery cast and production crew, many of whom tweeted their own frustration with the timing of the announcement and the fact that they weren’t informed.
I’m not going to lambast VCBS for their decision(s) in this matter. I totally understand wanting to consolidate Trekkies to Paramount+ as it debuts worldwide, rather than having them giving their fan bucks to Netflix instead. And I assume that, in a perfect world, infrastructure would probably have already been in place to premiere Discovery internationally on the same date that season four premiered in North America. For whatever reason, that didn’t happen. And I suspect that negotiations with Netflix were precarious enough that sharing the news early with the cast and production crew (and likely having it leak) would have done way more harm than good.
That said, there is an obvious risk for VCBS in this…Continue reading “Where in the world is STAR TREK: DISCOVERY??? (editorial and review)”