CBS All Access is Going Global

By Tom Pritchard on at

CBS's decision to stream Star Trek: Discovery on its new streaming services, rather than airing the whole thing on traditional TV, hasn't gone down particularly well with fans. Would you want to pay $6/£4.60 a month to stream Star Trek? Or $10/£7.70 to do it without adverts? Well you might have to make that decision in future, because CBS has announced it's bringing CBS All Access to countries other than the US.

Thanks to the services growth in the US being better than expected, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves has announced that the networks streaming service will be spreading to other countries across the world. Everything will kick off in Canada in the first half of next year, before spreading out further to currently-unrevealed locations. Presumably the UK will be one of them, because why wouldn't it?

Currently the service features 8,500 episodes of catch-up material, featuring the network's best known programming like The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, CSI, and more. Naturally the network has been attempting to compete with the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu by producing its own original streaming content. The best known example of this is Star Trek: Discovery, but new streaming-only series have just been greenlit from the likes of Will Ferrel, Ridley Scott, and more.

The question is now how this move will affect streaming and broadcast rights in the countries All Access will now launch in. Over in the US it's fine, because CBS broadcasts all that programming on TV and presumably keeps the streaming rights all to itself. In places like the UK that's a different story, since various different third-parties will have paid for the rights. CBS can't just swoop in and reclaim them on a whim, and less content makes the service less appealing to those who already have subscriptions elsewhere.

Obviously this isn't going to affect the first series of Star Trek: Discovery, which we in the UK will be able to watch on Netflix the day after it airs in the US. How it will impact the future of the show is unclear, but be aware that Netflix is reported to have paid for Discovery's entire production budget to grab the global streaming rights. My non-business-savvy opinion is that keeping this deal is more lucrative to CBS than forcing Trek fans across the world to pay extra money for a service they might not want.

We'll let you know if the network decides to announce more plans that affect us on this side of the Atlantic. Meanwhile Star Trek: Discovery debuts on Netflix on 25th September. [Variety via Engadget]

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