A few years ago it was announced that Netflix and CBS had signed a monster deal that would give the streaming service international streaming rights for Star Trek: Discovery. In other words Netflix users in pretty much every country could see the episode less than 24 hours after they arrived on CBS All Access, and could stream to their heart's content. But aside from Canada, this meant Discovery wasn't going to hit any TV screens. That's about to change.
It's just been announced that, starting next year, E4 will be broadcasting episodes of Discovery as part of a new deal with CBS that also includes the broadcaster picking up the rights to Matt LeBlanc's Man With a Plan.
E4 has acquired the rights to show #StarTrekDiscovery! It will start airing in 2020.
Barry Chamberlain mentions: “We’re excited to bring the linear television rights for Star Trek: Discovery to the international market and launch in the UK with our valued friends at Channel 4” pic.twitter.com/4mzZQjpAGL
— Star Trek Starships (@StarTrekModels) October 15, 2019
Now this sounds like bad news, because E4 doesn't have a great reputation for broadcasting American shows very quickly. Anyone who watched Agents of SHIELD in this country will know the pain of having to wait huge gaps between the US broadcast and the day they went out on the UK.
But according to Den of Geek Netflix still retains the same rights to Discovery, and is still able to release new episodes the day after they debut in the USA. Presumably they still plan on doing this, because they paid a goddamn fortune for those rights and it would be stupid not utilise them. It's unclear what that means for Discovery being on All 4.
Barry Chamberlain from CBS Studios International said:
"We’re excited to bring the linear television rights for Star Trek: Discovery to the international market and launch in the UK with our valued friends at Channel 4. This agreement features the best of both worlds — premium subscription content from a global franchise and a very popular network comedy from America’s Most-Watched Network. Channel 4 is already a licensee for several of our top-rated franchises, including The Good Fight and Charmed, and we are confident they will have continued success with Star Trek: Discovery and Man With A Plan."
My guess is that they'll start broadcasting the first and second seasons before getting to season 3. The non-streaming luddites are going to have to wait a while to catch up, but at least they actually get to watch it legitimately without having to sign up for Netflix.
Star Trek: Discovery's third season is currently mid-way through filming and will arrive sometime next year.