Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Why I'm not feeling the Netflix exclusive deal with CBS for the new 'Star Trek' series

I was excited when I checked my email yesterday and found a new press release from Netflix. I opened the email and the headline read: "Netflix to Beam New CBS "Star Trek" Television Series in 188 Countries Around the World". Sounds exciting right? If you are a Netflix subscriber and a fan of the Star Trek franchise, this sounds like awesome news. Except it's not.

The first paragraph of the press release kind of takes the excitement away.

"Netflix and CBS Studios International today announced a landmark international licensing agreement for the new “Star Trek” television series. Netflix will be the exclusive premiere home of “Star Trek” in 188 countries (excluding the US and Canada). Each episode of the new series will be available globally within 24 hours of its U.S. premiere."

I am not being illogical. I do understand why U.S. and Canada are excluded from the agreement. CBS has its own streaming service for the network called CBS All Access that those in the U.S. and Canada can subscribe to. So from a business standpoint it makes sense to have the series’ first run stream only on CBS All Access via a paid subscription.

While I understand the decision, I can’t lie either. This does feel a bit like a big fat screw you for U.S. and Canadian Netflix subscribers. Once again, our market is excluded from television programming -- like The Big Bang Theory -- shown on Netflix in other countries. All might not be lost, once the new 'Star Trek' series airs you more than likely will be able to watch episodes online if you sign up for free access to CBS Access. You just won't be able to watch it on your TV via a set top device like Roku. Plus, you will have to wait seven days after the initial air date before you can see it.

While I am happy for those other 188 countries who get to benefit from this exclusive deal between CBS and Netflix, as a U.S. Netflix subscriber, I'm not feeling it. In other words, I feel such agreements are a bunch of bull crap when two major markets are excluded. Yet, you want media from these markets to write about the deal, when their core audience can't benefit from it. Exclusions like this remind me why I won't subscribe to CBS All Access.