EXCLUSIVE: Star Trek: Discovery is heading home.
More than four years after the series starring Sonequa Martin-Green launched on what was then CBS All Access in North America and Netflix in the rest of the world, Discovery will be leaving the steamer as of midnight tonight.
In a just-closed deal between ViacomCBS and Netflix, the Shari Redstone-controlled company has ended the lucrative financial arrangement that launched Discovery back in 2017. In broad strokes, the bargain that then-CBS head honcho Les Moonves made with Netflix saw the latter paying the vast majority of Discovery‘s hefty budget for the overseas rights. With the top-tier IP fully back in the fold, the plan is for Discovery to take flight on Paramount+ around the globe starting next year.
The UK, Germany, Ireland, Austria and Switzerland will be among the first markets to stream Discovery on Paramount+ of the more than 20 countries the platform is available in outside of North America. ViacomCBS has said that as part of an accelerated expansion, it anticipates being in about 45 markets within the next year or so – and, of course, a high-profile brand like Star Trek will lead that charge.
In Canada, Discovery will stay on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave under the long-standing deal with the northern broadcaster.
No details were given of the deal that ViacomCBS and Netflix struck for the first three seasons of Discovery, but we hear it was in the healthy six figures. The arrangement removes any stake that Netflix had in the series.
There is a timely quality to the new deal as Season 4 of Star Trek: Discovery is set to kick off November 18 on Paramount+ in the States.
“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,” ViacomCBS Networks International streaming boss Kelly Day told Deadline today. “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.”
Like a lot of media companies, CBS and Viacom — separately and since their reunion in late-2019 — have looked for opportunities to reduce costs as they ramp up streaming originals. Star Trek series had output deals with various parties, including Bell in Canada and Amazon and Netflix in much of the world. But CBS All Access was rebranded as Paramount+ in March, and its offerings expanded and went global starting over the summer.
Earlier this month, ViacomCBS reported having nearly 47 million streaming subscribers across all of its services. It hasn’t yet broken out specific numbers for Paramount+. In a move seen as a sign of the difficulty of expanding streaming across the entire world, ViacomCBS formed a joint venture with Comcast for the Sky Showtime platform, which is set to launch in Europe.
While Star Trek: Picard will still be on Amazon outside of North America and Star Trek: Lower Decks will be on the Jeff Bezos owned streamer outside the U.S., Canada and Latin America, the Starfleet shift off Netflix was hinted at earlier this year. Back at the end of September, Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise all left the streamer.
Now we know where the true final frontier is.
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