With merger talks between CBS and Viacom once again heating up, CBS All Access could become the streaming home for all things Star Trek.
Late last month it was reported that the on again/off again merger talks between CBS and Viacom (the parent company of Paramount) were very much on again. With Les Moonves stepping down from the role of CEO of CBS, it opened the door for talk of the mega deal to resume since Moonves was the biggest opponent to the merger.
So why suddenly are CBS and Viacom thinking it would be a good time to be one big happy family once again? One word: streaming. With the streaming landscape becoming more fractured by the day, the thinking is that CBS wants as many assets in their streaming portfolio as possible. Disney, Warner Bros and Universal are all preparing their own streaming platforms and by reuniting CBS and Viacom, it will put CBS All Access in a good position to be competitive.
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Yep. The days when you could just subscribe to Netflix and see everything are pretty much over.
So what does all this have to do with Star Trek? More than you may think.
If CBS and Viacom merge, it will bring the entirety of Star Trek under the control of a single corporation once again. Instead of CBS controlling the various television series and Paramount the feature films, everything will be under a single umbrella. Including all the previous Star Trek television series and movies.
That would mean that eventually, all the previous Star Trek series, including The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise and the Original Series could wind up on CBS All Access with Star Trek: Discovery. They all currently stream on Netflix, but if a merger happens you can be sure once that contract is over they will all move to All Access.
Then there are the feature films. Some don’t currently have a streaming home while others air on a variety of cable networks. Post merger, they will all eventually likely end up on All Access and will no longer air on cable at all.
The bottom line is that if and when CBS and Viacom merge, it is fairly certain that the only place you will be able to find Star Trek in any form on a streaming platform is going to be CBS All Access.
Will that piss off a lot of Star Trek fans? No doubt. Many still can’t get over the fact that Discovery is only available on CBS All Access. Imagine what they’ll be like when all of the Star Trek franchise can only be seen there.
For the rest of us, this is the new entertainment landscape and we better get used to it. Time to decide just how much you’re willing to spend to get your Star Trek fix whenever you want one.