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Star Trek to boldly go with Netflix for global distribution of new series
Star Trek to boldly go with Netflix for global distribution of new series
Monday, July 18, 2016

Netflix has wrapped up a deal with CBS Studios International giving it exclusive global rights outside the U.S. and Canada to the latest iteration of the Star Trek franchise that CBS plans to roll out in January.

CBS plans to launch the series’ premiere episode on linear TV and its CBS All Access SVOD service, but has said the rest of the episodes will be available via streaming only. The series is the first original series CBS developed for distribution exclusively on CBS All Access, which costs $5.99 a month.

Outside the U.S. and Canada, each episode will be available exclusively on Netflix within 24 hours of its streaming in the United States.

Netflix also inked a deal with CBS for the entire catalog of Star Trek episodes – all 727 of them – for distribution staring later this year. The deal includes all the TV episodes from Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise.

The series has a huge fan base that’s been waiting for new content since 2005, when Star Trek: Enterprise went off the air. The new iteration will include “a new ship, new characters and new missions, while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future,” CBS has said.

“The launch of the new ‘Star Trek’ will truly be a global television event. ‘Star Trek’ is a worldwide phenomenon and this international partnership will provide fans around the world, who have been craving a new series for more than a decade, the opportunity to see every episode virtually at the same time as viewers in the U.S.,” said Armando Nunez, president and CEO at CBS Studios Intl. “Thanks to our world-class partners at Netflix, the new ‘Star Trek’ will definitely be ‘hailing on all frequencies’ throughout the planet.”

In Canada, meanwhile, Bell Media has closed its own deal for linear TV and SVOD rights in the Great White North. The initial episode will be available on CTV, on the same night as CBS. All remaining episodes will initially be televised on Bell Media’s cable networks, Space (in English) and Z (in French), and then later exclusively on CraveTV, Bell Media’s streaming video-on-demand service.

The Star Trek television library will return to Space (in English) and debut on Cinépop (in French), and will also be found among CraveTV’s leading lineup of premium television series.

Of the four major studios in the United States, CBS has been most aggressive about moving online. It’s CBS All Access SVOD service was the first major move toward OTT among the Big 4.

Stay tuned.

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Jim O'Neill

An award-winning industry expert and futurist who specializes in the convergence of traditional TV and the Internet. My focus includes pay TV, Cloud TV, OTT, multiplatform media delivery, the ecosystem that surrounds it and consumer trends. A frequent speaker at CES, NAB, Digital Hollywood, Park’s Associates Connections events, Streaming Media and Digital Entertainment World, among others. I'm the Editor of Videomind, which in the past year has won awards from Editor & Publisher and Digiday. I'm also the Principal Analyst at Ooyala. I'm based in Michigan. I formerly was an analyst at Parks Associates and editor of FierceOnlineVideo and FierceIPTV. 

You can follow on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on Linkedin