ViacomCBS has apparently struck a deal with AMC Networks for Star Trek films.
If you bought Paramount+ to enjoy all of Star Trek, new and old, you’re going to be severely disappointed. In what appears to be a licensing deal, AMC Networks’ streaming service AMC+ has apparently purchased the digital streaming rights of the older Star Trek films, which already left Paramount+.
This after offering 12 of the 13 films on the service as of July, with only Star Trek 2009 being the lone film that wasn’t available. That film was on and remains with Netflix for subscribers in the United States. There remain only two films now on Paramount+ after the departure of the others.
Nine of those departed films, including all six of the Original Series films, and three of the four Next Generation films have now moved to AMC+. The one lone departure that didn’t make the transition (yet) is Generations. Right now Generations isn’t available anywhere to officially stream yet.
That means only Beyond and Into Darkness remains available for Star Trek fans to watch on the home for Star Trek streaming content.
One theory why Paramount+ would allow Star Trek films to leave
Now, to be clear, there is a chance (however unlikely) that this deal was struck with AMC+ prior to the launch of Paramount+. The more likely theory and let me stress this is only a theory, is that Paramount+’s parent company, ViacomCBS believes they can get more money leasing out the film rights to other streaming services to help offset costs of the merger. Remember what we wrote the other day; whenever there’s a merger, costs get cut, and making money is the highest priority.
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If the number crunchers and “experts” at ViacomCBS believe they can profit more off of the Star Trek IP if it’s leased off in parts, they’ll absolutely do it. After all, Modern Family is owned by Disney but streams on NBC’s Peacock. Before Disney bought Hulu, they were putting series on there while working towards Disney+. The WWE shut down their entire service and sold off the streaming rights to Peacock as well. So now they’re making a pure profit and making NBC foot the bill for the expensive honor of streaming live WWE content.
So it’s not at all unbelievable that ViacomCBS sees the older Star Trek shows as a way to make a profit for the new service. After all, four of the five first live-action shows are on Netflix still, with Enterprise being the loan one who’s not. They’re making money off of that deal still, and still have all those shows on the service as well.
If they agreed to a licensing deal as part of the Viacom and CBS merger, then that would’ve been a hugely boneheaded move. At the current rate of things, it’ll be less expensive to have cable these days than it will be to pay $9.99 for all of the different streaming services.