Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Star Trek Boldly Goes Back To CBS

For Trekkers, or Trekkies, the news that another Star Trek series would be coming back to television was met with very loud cheers.  That it won't be seen for 15 months, not until January 2017, tempered that applause.  Star Trek, first created by Gene Roddenberry in the 1960's, has seen itself grow from TV show to movies back to TV show and back to movies with different casts embracing the sci fi drama.

CBS seems to be using this popular series in a two-fold strategy with first-run episodes appearing on the flagship CBS network and subsequent runs of the show seen exclusively on its streaming subscription app, CBS All Access.  Currently, the $5.99 monthly app offers other CBS programs including the original Star Trek episodes. Is the Star Trek universe large enough to entice more subscribers to CBS All Access?  Probably not but I would be on the look out for more deals to be announced like this.  As CBS is not an owner in Hulu, this streaming property is their own strategy to retain the CBS brand in a digital world.

As to the new Star Trek series, little is known about the series.  Its place, characters, story lines are all a mystery for now.  But for those waiting for the follow up to Star Trek Enterprise, we will boldy go where CBS takes us. 

Note:  Some are suggesting that CBS will air only the first episode on CBS with the remainder of the season exclusively on CBS All Access.  Will that encourage consumers to subscribe to the service or fail miserably?  I think it would be a mistake to all of its constituents from the TV viewer to the local affiliate, from the cable operator to the cable subscriber to not air the series first on broadcast. The greatest revenue opportunity for CBS still lies with traditional television.