Continuing his speaking tour, CBS Corporation president Les Moonves followed up on his comments from last week with a new presentation at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference this morning, where he talked about some more detail into the business side of the upcoming STAR TREK television relaunch on the CBS All Access streaming service.
Interestingly, Moonves gave one of the clearest public statements about the split between CBS and Paramount ownership rights for Star Trek, and finally laid out the details behind that “not related to Star Trek Beyond” line in the STAR TREK 2017 released back in November.
When [CBS] split from Viacom ten years ago, January 1, 2006, one of the big sticking points, as you can imagine, was “Star Trek.” You know, we both wanted it.
They said “It’s a movie!” and I said, “No, no, no, it’s a TV show.” Actually, we’re both right. So they kept the feature film rights, we kept the television rights; they have [“Star Trek Beyond”] coming out July 22.
Our deal with them is that we had to wait six months after their film is launched so there wouldn’t be a confusion in the marketplace.
That six-month window is plenty of time for the upcoming Trek film to be released in theaters domestically and internationally, and be out in both digital and physical home-media releases for the 2016 holiday season.
Once STAR TREK BEYOND is out of the way, that clears up room for the 2017 series to take over the Trek mantle: that is, until Paramount decides if it will exercise its option to bring back the movie cast for a fourth feature.
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Moonves also offered some more comments on the expected financial impact of international distribution, which he first mentioned last week.
“Star Trek” is an expensive show, it’s the family jewel, obviously. The previous “Star Trek” shows that we sold to Netflix did extraordinarily well; I don’t think it’s a great surprise that Trekkies would go to the [streaming services] of the world. So we sort of felt that we had a tiger in the bottle.
We announced “Star Trek,” and internationally, we basically have covered 60% of the cost of the show already… to make up that [other] 40%, it’s not going to take a whole lot of subscriptions, and it says to the world that we are very serious about this.
When you put something on [All Access], it’s got to be something special, something you wouldn’t find on the [CBS broadcast network], something that will attract subscribers. As I said, “Star Trek” was kind of a no-brainer: there aren’t a lot of [properties] out there with that kind of following.
In 2017, when “Star Trek” starts on All Access, we think that’s going to be extraordinarily successful.
Finally, he discussed the somewhat limited marketing push for the streaming service, something he expects the corporation to ramp up surrounding the Star Trek launch next year.
I think when “Star Trek” starts, which is in January 2017, I think you’re going to see a larger marketing push for [CAA] right then because there will be a lot of people who will sign up then.
In addition, we’re looking at offering a package of Showtime OTT [streaming] and All Access together, at a lower price point; we think that will be very effective.
The truth of the matter is, we haven’t pulled out all the stops. We gave both of them – Showtime OTT and CBS All Access – twenty seconds during the Super Bowl, which shows that we’re serious about them because that’s a lot of money, but we think they’re going to be both very effective and next year, it’s going to add a substantial amount to our bottom line.
You can listen to Moonves’ full comments on the streaming webcast recording right here.
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