ViacomCBS and Star Trek can’t catch a break
Star Trek is looking towards a bleak future with ViacomCBS/Paramount Global once again reshuffling their streaming services. Already in a situation where they’re on their second streaming platform, the folks at Trek will soon see their show on yet a third service, this one with a similar but still different branding.
The new service is being dubbed “Paramount+ with SHOWTIME” but one would have to imagine that the service will be shortened over time because everyone can see that’s a terrible name for a streaming service.
Not only is the name being changed for the streaming service, but the Showtime channel that you can find on cable and satellite will also bare this gaudy and unnecessary name.
Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish released a memo explaining all of this and was quoted by Variety as saying;
"This new combined offering demonstrates how we can leverage our entire collection of content to drive deeper connections with consumers and greater value for our distribution partners. This change will also drive stronger alignment across our domestic and international Paramount+ offerings, as international Paramount+ already includes Showtime content. And, very importantly, this integration will unlock operational efficiencies and financial benefits across our broader portfolio."
In the memo, not once did he mention Star Trek, but did mention Dexter, Your Honor, Yellowjackets, Billions, Homeland, The Chi and the upcoming Fellow Travelers show. The fact th at Star Trek isn’t mentioned by the CEO of your company is a good sign that the expansion of shows is coming to an end.
After all, if it was such a game-changer, why wouldn’t it be mentioned alongside other shows like Your Honor or Dexter?
This is not a good sign for the company.
Ignore the corporate speak, and remember one thing; if a company can have multiple streaming services that turn a profit, they’ll have as many as they can. Disney has three; Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+. AMC has seven, yes seven (at least). Sony has a few, Tencent has a few, Sky TV has a few, and so does Comcast (Peacock).
Consolidation only happens when multiple properties are underperforming and underachieving. Both Paramount+ nor Showtime have not been major players. Paramount+ only has 46 million subscribers, and Showtime only has 22 million. A lot of those have both, so the hope is that by combining the two, the numbers for the new service will look closer to 60 million.