Les Moonves, president and CEO of CBS, has spoken before about the plans for Star Trek launching a new series next year on the CBS All Access streaming platform, and he spoke again today in front of CBS investors at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference about the nature of the service — and the desire that the digital competitors had for the new series.

About how streaming competitors Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon all tried to purchase the rights to launch the new Trek series, something on which we first reported back in November:

We look at the marketplace, we look at next quarter, but we look at the future. [Netflix] is not our enemy, they’re paying for our content. It’s our job to continue to compete with them. […] They’re our competitor, and that’s okay.

Obviously, a lot of conversation went into [selling to another service], and Star Trek is the family jewel. Paramount owns the film rights, but we retain the television rights.

So we said, we have this property, a very important property… Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, they all offered us a lot of money. They all wanted it very badly.

On the power of international markets, and how the financial benefit will help the new show:

The way we are able to monetize shows today is so much different than it was even five years ago, where there are so many places that will take our programming as [Video On Demand] becomes a bigger player. International [distribution] is exploding, not only with just the established markets but the number of new markets that are opening.

We’re finally in China in a meaningful way; getting paid a meaningful amount of money for our shows — so having good content, the world is getting bigger and bigger and better and better.

The international marketplace, without seeing a word on paper or anything at all, the numbers internationally are astronomical. So that covers about sixty percent of the cost of production right there, before we even begin.

So we said that for this relatively minor investment, this is how we’re going to get All Access to be where we want it to be, where there are millions and millions and millions of subscribers.

By putting that forward, we said to the world, you know what? CBS is really serious about this. They’ve taken this crown jewel of a property and put it in a place where they know there are so many millions of Star Trek fans that [CBS] will pay for this.

It was a decision that took a lot of thought, because we could have taken the quick bucks from Netflix, but it shows we’re investing in a property and we really believe in the future.

He also spoke about the potential of an ad-free tier on the All Access service:

We estimate that the advertising is worth about four dollars [per subscription], so we’re exploring the idea that for $5.99 you can get All Access with advertisements, and for $9.99 you can do it without advertising.

I know Hulu’s tried it, and it hasn’t been very successful — because most people, despite what they say, would rather suffer through the ads and save four dollars than [pay more].


On his vision for the CBS All Access streaming service:

You walk on college campuses and they don’t have television sets. We think over-the-top is going to become a very viable way to watch television. […] We’ve added [now] what we think will be the most important thing, which is original programming.

As you know, in January of ’17, we will have the new ‘Star Trek’ series on the air, which we know there are millions of big, big fans who will sign up for [it]. And that’s only the beginning of our intent to produce more and more original programming to go on All Access.

No matter how slow or how fast [people transition away from traditional TV viewing], it doesn’t matter, because it’s going to be better. CBS is in a great position, and All Access is something clearly we are going to build. [I’m] not going to give you numbers, but it’s way ahead of projections. We think [in 2017] it’s going to be a significant revenue driver for us.

It is the future, and we’re right there with it.

For those of you outside of the United States still concerned that you won’t be able to easily watch the new series, Moonves’ comments here must surely put those fears at ease. With this kind of international distribution push he’s expecting, we’re sure it’s going to be available to view all over the place without much difficulty at all.

You can listen to Moonves’ entire forty-minute presentation online here.


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  • Hmm, I would consider subscribing for $9.99 if, in addition to new Star Trek, they had all the other Trek series (even though I own them all on DVD/Blu) for convenience sake — but I would also need assurances that complete series sets of Survivor, Amazing Race (25+), Big Brother, and the complete archive of The Price is Right would also be available, to justify my $9.99 per month! Oh and the Trek series would need to be set in the non-JJ Prime universe.

    • OphidianJaguar

      No doubt, in Canada I’m paying about $8-$9 (Canadian) for Netflix, Shomi, and CraveTV, the amount of movies and TV shows I have at my finger tips for $24 is well worth it. Everyone is pissed off saying they are not paying $5.99-$9.99 for Star Trek but everyone is forgetting that (I am assuming) you get more than Star Trek on the all access app for that price. I assume it would be the same as the HBO app, DisneyXD app, Showtime app etc.

    • They do have all the other Trek series.

    • W Smith

      We must think alike because that’s what I want to. In addition to the Trek series, I would also want the complete catalog of Survivor and Bob Barker-hosted Price is Right. Amazing Race is okay too. Not sure I would want anything else though.

  • Justin Olson

    I totally understand why Moonves is shamelessly using Star Trek to increase the membership numbers for his floundering All Access streaming service, but I’m not sure it was the right move to boast that companies such as Netflix offered them “a lot of money” to do a Star Trek show. That’s just going to further upset a lot of people who are going to fixate endlessly on what could have been. He should have kept that information confidential, especially after all the goodwill that has come their way following the Fuller and Meyer announcements.

    But a guy like Moonves just can’t help himself, I guess.

    • Maya Quinto

      To be fair, he wasn’t talking to us, but to a roomful of investors. He wants to plump his product, CBS AA, with the reassurance that meeeellions of Trek fans will shell out their shekels to see new Trek.

      A show Moonve $, reputedly, never understood nor liked.

      • Dartanion74

        Very true. Moonves is the single biggest reason why Enterprise was pulled from the air and UPN was closed down after Viacom split and CBS took over all television rights from Paramount back in 2005. Yes the ratings weren’t as good but comparatively it was doing better than other sci-fi shows that went on for years after – example Stargate SG-1 had a collective week to week following but it was far less than the 5.5 million viewers that watched Enterprise during its 4th season.

        • Mo

          As I understand it, Moonves was also the single biggest reason why UPN made the most watered-down Star Trek series of them all.

          • vincanss

            I wouldn’t describe Enterprise in that way. Seasons 3 and 4 are exceptional, nothing watered down about those. And for me, Enterprise season 1 is superior to TNG season 1 and so on etc. Underrated show that people still love to take shots at without probably having seen a lot of the best of it anyway.

          • Mo

            I’ve watched it all, and I don’t take shots. I express disappointment with weak writing, regardless of how pretty some of it turned out.

            Like Voyager, Enterprise was another Trek series that didn’t believe in itself, and was overseen by at least one person who’d been running Trek for too long. Seasons 3 and 4 notwithstanding.

          • DC Forever

            You are correct — they didn’t really have self-commitment.

        • MattR

          The last season of Enterprise averaged around 3 million.

          • vincanss

            Ironically as the show got better and better, the viewers got less and less. Seasons 3 and 4 are stellar..

          • DC Forever

            They had lost their chance by then.

      • DC Forever


    • danielcw

      I have no idea how his comments can generate the opposite of good-will, or destroy good-will.

      “his floundering All Access streaming service”
      It is floundering? source?

      • MattR

        And even if it was floundering at the moment (which there really isn’t any evidence), the whole point of putting all the money and effort into a Star Trek series is to make All Access stand out and grow.

        This is the way of the future. NBC has their all original comedy streaming service which also has a monthly subscription cost. CBS has All Access. It’s all about monetizing the way people watch stuff now, which is only growing.

        Every streaming service starts out with old content and then branches into original content. It helps them grow. Just because they’ve only announced one original show doesn’t mean there won’t be tons of stuff in the future. Even Netflix and Hulu and Amazon started out slow.

  • OphidianJaguar

    Granted its just under 4 months that the new show was announced, 10 months till the show launches…I want to know how this will be distributed outside of the US, specifically in my market, Canada. Star Trek is broadcast on cable in Canada on the Space channel which is owned by Bell Media. In Canada along with Netflix we have CraveTV (Bell Media) and Shomi (Rogers Media) streaming services. CraveTV has all 5 star trek series as well as the animated series. There is no Star Trek on Shomi and on Canadian Netflix there is only TNG and the 4 TNG movies..thats it for Star Trek on Canadian Netflix. On my Apple TV up here in the great white north, no Hulu, HBO, Showtime, ABC, CBS or DisneyXD app. Up here HBO and Showtime are distributed by Bell, so yet another reason to get CraveTV. Unless CBS develops its own app for the Canadian streaming market, I have a feeling the new Star Trek will be on both cable and streaming services up here in Canada, since Bell has a monopoly on distributing Star Trek in Canada on both cable TV (Space) and streaming (CraveTV). On CraveTV isn’t even listed under sci-fi….it has its own category!

    • Marcus Sullivan

      I’m in Canada too and have been thinking (and hoping!) the same thing. Crave TV seems like the most likely platform for the show here, and like you alluded to it offers a much broader library of content beyond Trek than CBS All Access. Couple that with the chance that it might air on cable through Space, and I think this is shaping up to be one of the few instances where Canadians might end up with the better deal. Fingers crossed!

    • danielcw

      If CraveTV or Bell Media have current contracts for the most recent output of CBS and/or Paramount, I bet they have at least first-look-rights.

  • Michael Ehlert


    CBS Prez Les Moonves
    Drop your suit against AXANAR. Most of the Star Trek fans I personally know will not watch your new series if you continue with this action.

    Put it on a medium that doesn’t cost us extra we wont pay for another service.

    If it has any connection to the JJ Abrams version REAL TREK fans wont watch.

    I’m doubting but hoping this brief explanation of you bad Trek choices will actually reach you but have to try and get this simple message to you.

    TREK BELONGS to it’s fans not a bunch of studio execs with $$$ in their eyes and their heads up a Klingons Exhaust port.

    • Star Trek has been a money-making endeavor for years, going back to when “Journey to Babel” introduced the IDIC symbol so that Gene Roddenberry could sell accessories. To think that the franchise never existed to be a cash-generating machine before CBS became the owners is kind of ridiculous, frankly.

      And honestly, people need to start to accept that the series will NOT be on the other streaming services, and that CBS isn’t going to change their plans. Moonves’ comments here lay out exactly why it’s being done this way, and there’s no reason to expect them to change their minds.

      • Zarm

        Is There In Truth No Beauty, for the IDIC. 😉 But yes, agreed. And it’s important to remember that, as often as I see ‘we’re not going to pay for another streaming service,’ CBS isn’t forcing you to pay for any of the other services, or even theirs. They’re just offering a product in a specific place.

        It’s kinda like saying “Hey Taco Bell, sell your chalupas in McDonalds, because I’m not going to drive-thru a SECOND restaurant on the way home!” You may not like the venue in which you can purchase the second product, but it’s really not unfair for it to be offered there. And CBS isn’t trying to get ‘more’ money out of you; it’s not the one getting money out of you from Hulu or Netflix. It’s just offering a product- whether you choose to purchase it in addition to those, instead of those, or not purchase it at all. I don’t particularly like it myself- but there’s nothing unfair or unethical about it.

        • Shawn P. Conroy

          I have mixed feelings about your points here. I don’t have a dog in this fight, because more than likely in Canada it will be available in a service I already pay for.

          I agree with your final point: CBS isn’t trying to get more money out of you, because they currently aren’t getting any. Not really. They are trying to maximize how much money they will get out of you. And they think they can do this by hosting their own service rather than paying a middleman like Netflix. They are not Hulu or Netflix.

          But the restaurant analogy is not on point. Buying individual items is different than a buffett. And that’s what’s happening. They are charge buffett prices for people who just want one product. CBS cannot complain when people refuse. (On the other hand, if they have a good streaming service with great content, it would be different. Can their programmers pull of the first?)

          But the frustration you see is really this point: imagine if different TV and movie distributors had exclusive deals with different stores. CBS content is only available at Target. Paramount only at Walmart. Universal content? I don’t know. Wallgreens.

          Imagine not knowing which store to go to for what. And further, imagine you have to pay the same price no matter what you take out of the store.

          If these companies were willing to pay so much for Star Trek… I’d bargain them up as high as they will go… And they say, look, for 50% of that price we will give you a non-exclusive deal. But we will also give it to your competitors at the same price.

          Heck, they could make MORE profit at 40% probably… if they sold it to enough competitors.

          • Zarm

            You do make a fair point. I think what I was trying to drive at is: To use your analogy, if you have two different buffets (CBS and Netflix, let’s say), and you regularly attend the latter, because it has a lot of your favorite dishes, but then the new CBS buffet opens up and has a soup (proprietary recipe), which you really want and your regular buffet doesn’t have, it isn’t really logical to say “Darn it, give my usual buffet your recipe so I can eat your soup there, I don’t want to have to pay for another buffet!”

            Like, it totally sucks for the hypothetical ‘you’- and I get the frustration inherent there, and feel it, too- but the new buffet isn’t actually doing anything wrong by offering its soup exclusively at its restaurant. it means you can’t get the full meal you want for the price of one buffet, and that’s annoying… but it’s their soup, and they’re just trying to sell it to you in their own venue. That’s not wrong or unethical. it annoys ‘you,’ because you want to get everything you want for one price- understandably- but it’s not their fault what someone else has or doesn’t have that you want, nor is it their responsibility to sell you what you want from them through someone else that you’d rather give your money to.

            In short, I guess, it’s not ideal- and this distribution of streaming services is frustrating- but it’s not actually unethical, shady, or even morally questionable to sell a product exclusively. it’s crummy for us if we want to have a program from this service, one from that, and two from the one over there- but that’s OUR problem, not tv studios’ problem for not consolidating them all in one place. And it frustrates us, sure- but getting angry at the studio or acting as if they’re doing something wrong or trying to disenfranchise us is disingenuous. Basically,t hat’s the point I was trying (and probably failing 🙂 ) to get across.

          • Shawn

            Ah, I did not catch that. I didn’t mean to imply it was wrong, ethically. Just perhaps stupid. Something industry is currently getting away with but cannot forever.

            I think a better analogy would be channel’s died to specific cable company or satellite companies. Like, you can only get CBS on this satellite company, not that one. And you can only get NBC on the wired cable company.

            Here in Canada, I can get traditional cable (Rogers) and cable over Fibre (Bell Fibe), and satellite (Shaw). I think there are some TV over IP solutions as well. I can get NBC, CBS and Fox on all of them. Imagine if that wasn’t the case.

            The restaurant analogy hits it’s limit because anyone can make soup or tacos at home and at many restaurants without having to pay for a monthly plan/buffett. (A soup shouldn’t cost $6/month.)

          • danielcw

            “Ah, I did not catch that. I didn’t mean to imply it was wrong, ethically. Just perhaps stupid. Something industry is currently getting away with but cannot forever.”

            What exactly is stupid here?

          • Shawn

            That the TV and movie production industry is frustrating their customers by signing exclusive deals. The eternal exclusivity of these deals is annoying. I believe they should be negotiating non-exclusive deals. Instead of X money from 1 company (Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, or whatever) the should take a third or fourth of X but sell to more than 4 companies. That’s a net win for production companies (more total revenue), and a net win for customers (can get the content easily).

            I remember from 1995-2005 if I wanted a movie I’d go to the store to buy it. Which store? It didn’t matter. Whichever was most convenient. Imagine if we had to remember which stores sold movies distributed by which companies, and then keep in mind which company distributed the movie you wanted to buy. That would have been frustrating.

            Just like the situation with streaming. It’s bad for customer relations. I believe that if the market keeps fragmenting with exclusivity deals the system will become unmanageable. Unless, after a year or so, the exclusivity ends. But CBS isn’t giving up their old catalog, so I doubt they will give up the new shows.

          • danielcw

            “Instead of X money from 1 company (Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, or whatever) the should take a third or fourth of X but sell to more than 4 companies. That’s a net win for production companies (more total revenue), and a net win for customers (can get the content easily).”

            And you know that it would work that way how?
            And would it help long term, because CBS All Access appears to be a longterm plan

          • Shawn

            Its obvious that a non-exclusive deal is worth less than an exclusive deal. The math is simple. Price multiplied by sales. I am saying it is possible that there is a price point where the lower amount is offset by higher sales.

            This is why companies will lower the price of products on occasion. The increase in sales offsets the decrease in profit per item.

            They should sell Star Trek to every streaming start up.

            I understand their plan is long term. I’m suggesting it may not work, and why, and what a better plan might have been. And my idea can be boiled down like this: they should produce content, not services. I like them to be separate. And I don’t like where it looks like things are headed.

            (The frustration could be eased by having a universal front end. So I pay for the individual services. But there is one app I load to play any content from any service I subscribe to. That could work. Also, different deals for different content. For example, they could sell it to Netflix at a higher price and Netflix could have a premium plan with new releases and semi-exclusive content.)

    • James

      I was not paying much attention to Axanar and my general thoughts on the matter could be summed up with: “CBS naturally has every right to uphold their copyright, but if some fans wanna make a film what’s the big deal… ”

      When I read a bit more about it, it seems that they were making money out of the Star Trek name, selling model ships, coffee, funding convention appearances and worst of all – building a studio which they were then going to make money out of by renting out the space to other productions. It seems the Axanar people are making money out of the fans donations. It’s a huge shame, because CBS has tolerated other fan films, which haven’t taken the Mickey and now they might stop doing that.

      Star Trek has always been about making money. Roddenberry himself introduced the IDIC (much to Nimoys disgust) so that Lincoln Enterprises could sell the pennant. He also flogged bootleg blooper prints (again, much to the disgust of Nimoy) and he sold the rights to Star Trek.


      • Hayde Christiansson

        Not to mention he wrote terrible lyrics to the theme so Courage wouldn’t get all the money.

        • danielcw

          To be fair: Courage knew about that and agreed to it.

          • Hayde Christiansson

            Are you sure? I’ve heard that Courage found out about the lyrics and was (rightfully) very upset.

          • danielcw

            I read it in a German book. Would have to look it up to see if it is sourced.
            The book is about 10 years old now.

            Do you happen to remember where you heard it?

          • Hayde Christiansson

            I want to say it was probably the Music of Star Trek book most likely, but it was at least a book about the making of the original series.

          • danielcw

            p.s.: the memory alpha article on Courage kinda backs up both cases.
            In this interview with him cited by Memory Alpha http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/alexander-courage#
            Courage said, that he signed a paper agrreing to splitting royalties if Roddenberry ever wrote lyrics. So worst case Roddenberry was an “ass” but had a deal with Courage, best case Courage was fine with it, and maybe hoped it would just never happen.

    • Hayde Christiansson

      Axanar? Lol

    • danielcw

      None of those are bad choices per se?
      And please don’t act like you speak for all Star Trek fans or “Real Trek fans”.

  • anakinbrego

    I don’t watch TV shows on an app unless it plays on my Blu-Ray player. I don’t watch my tv shows on mobile devices.

    • Brian Thorn

      It just isn’t very comfortable watching TV on a handheld device. Amazon Fire TV, Roku, or Apple TV are vastly superior experiences.

    • Shawn

      For All Access to succeed it needs to run on a variety of devices. They need apps for the video game consoles, for Apple TV, for Roku, Fire TV, Android TV, and Chromecast. That is an excellent point.

      • It already runs on all those devices, and XBox.

        • Shawn

          Oh, my apologies. I thought it wasn’t launching until later this year. In my defence, I’m Canadian.

        • anakinbrego

          Not on my PS4 and Sony Blu-Ray player!

    • Yep, I’ve tested out the CBS All Access app and it works just fine with Chromecast. I’m wondering if CBS will upgrade the app to support 4k/UHD/HDR streaming. Seems like an important step to take.

  • I don’t think this is gonna work out. Star Trek Fans with Netflix account will not invest another $5 just to see the show. I think, the same is gonna happen with the new Trek like it happens with Game of Thrones: They will pirate it.

    • Shawn P. Conroy

      Only if it’s good. If it’s good they will pirate it. But if it’s good, they will also pay to watch it. Just like people do with Game of Thrones and HBO.

    • Well, perhaps you shouldn’t speak for all “Star Trek Fans with Netflix accounts.” I think you meant *you* will not invest another $5 a month. I will gladly do it. I don’t mind paying for content that I want to see made. This strange assumption that Netflix should be the default landing spot for all shows bothers me. This a la carte method of subscribing is far better than having to subscribe to an expensive cable package that includes dozens of channels of no interest to the subscriber.

    • iMike

      This Star Trek fan with a Netflix account will happily pay another $5 per month. I also have a HuluPlus subscription as well as Amazon Prime. There is nothing wrong with competition among streaming companies, it prevents a monopoly, which is good for nobody.

      Also – we do not yet know what other new, original content CBS will place on it’s All Access streaming service. We are still a year out. They could have several new shows, as well as all of their back catalogue (much of which is not currently available on ANY of the big streaming giants) as offerings. It amazes me that people will b*tch and moan about spending $5 a month on an extra streaming service; no one said you had to commit to it all year. That’s the monthly cost of one trip to Starbucks.

    • crazymonkee

      Speaking only for myself, I have a Netflix account and for the moment, I’m disinclined to watch this new series at all due to this All Access distribution. I have no intention of pirating it, nor do I want to reward this distribution model with my money. One of the benefits of cable/satellite providers is the ability to negotiate prices for the content they serve. If all access succeeds, NBC, and ABC will soon follow suit, and exclusive “family jewel” content will force us all into paying ultimately higher prices. Plus I’ll have to mange subscriptions for all of Hesse services.

      I may buy the first season on blu ray whenever it’s released, if there’s enough excitement around it, but I’m quite content to wait til then to see the show. Heck, Star Trek has been off the air 10 years. I can wait a couple more.

    • I don’t have to bother with “All Access”. I live in Europe, so I don’t even have a chance to subscribe to “All Access”, since it is not available here. The only legal chance for me to see the new show is, if one of our TV stations acquires the rights so I can watch it on TV.
      But I see how Netflix and Amazon Prime work over here and the people usually only have one of them. Game of Thrones btw, is only shown on Pay TV (Sky, similar to HBO). So people without Pay TV don’t have a chance to see Game of Thrones in a legal way, so they pirate it and I think the same will happen with the new Trek: If it’s good but not available, people will pirate it.
      Oh and even if I could, I would not support CBS with my money after seen what they are doing on Axanar.
      (If you don’t know what Axanar is: It is a fan film currently in production and got sued by CBS & Paramount. They raised $1m on Kickstarter. If you don’t know it, have a look at their 20min Trailer “Prelude to Axanar” <– it's the best Trek I have seen for over 10 years now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W1_8IV8uhA )

  • Vanguard

    If the Kanye West-Tidal debacle has taught us anything, it’s that restricting media to a specific locked-down medium/service only encourages copying and file-sharing of said-media. CBS All Access is just a restriction done on purpose; like all intentional restrictions (geo-blocking, DRM) that have come before it, will be bypassed through file-sharing.

    Also, I wonder if big “international distribution sales” refers to higher prices (price-gouging) outside of the US. Certainly in countries like Canada the value quotient where media access/copies are concerned is much lower on average (even accounting for currency differences)

    • Shawn

      I think it’s best to view piracy as competition. iTunes and Netflix have low prices with ease of use. Many people choose to pay for something they could pirate.

      If you service sucks or the prices are too high it will push people in one direction.

      If you have good content, a fantastic service and it’s easy to use, it will pull people toward you.

      For those in the middle both are a hassle. Because I don’t pirate stuff, it’s a hassle for me to pirate one thing (like a missed episode of a TV show I’m recording on my PVR–stupid technology). But for people who pirate all the time, it’s a hassle to switch back. Most are in the middle and will do what’s the easiest.

      PIrating is hard. You have to stay on top of the trends, try to find which copy can be trusted, and sometimes not get what you want.

      • Vanguard

        “I think it’s best to view piracy as competition. iTunes and Netflix have
        low prices with ease of use. Many people choose to pay for something
        they could pirate.”

        Exactly. Let’s hope CBS does do (and doesn’t follow-up on their Axanar suit with file-sharing lawsuits), because whether they like or not that WILL be the reality for them given their current course and the info that has been presented.

    • Shawn

      I would like to assume by international distribution they mean they have the system nailed down and will be able to distribute it worldwide quickly, meaning immediate revenue. That’s what I hope. The alternative you bring up is a concern I hadn’t thought of before.

      • Vanguard

        In an ideal world, and a market based on quality, I’d share your assumption. Unfortunately, in the copyright industry the desire to control often overrides making the best service for customers.

        • Vanguard

          …which is not surprising given that the industry is based on government-granted monopolies rather competition. The standard free market behaviour no longer applies.

          • danielcw

            How so?

          • Vanguard

            Monopolies prevent competition and instead centralize market control into a few giant conglomerates, which is what has happened with the copyright industry over the past century.

          • danielcw

            Where is the monopoly here? Who is a monopoly for what in the copyright industry?

            Are you trying to say everybody should be allowed to make Star Trek products, even if they don’t have done anything to build that product?

            CBS has a monoply on Star Trek, but they don’t have a monopoly on entertainment, nobody has. Nothing is stopping you, or me or anybody, from creating new uniwque products.

            “Monopolies prevent competition and instead centralize market control into a few giant conglomerates” That sentence does not make snese. On the one hand you are talking about monopolies, on the other hand you talk about “a few”

          • Vanguard

            “Where is the monopoly here? Who is a monopoly for what in the copyright industry?”

            Copyright is by definition, a monopoly granted by government. It prevents competitors from distributing copies of copyrighted material by having distribution rights centralized on the original author. Now this may be good or bad in different circumstances, but it is still a monopoly.

            “Are you trying to say everybody should be allowed to make Star Trek
            products, even if they don’t have done anything to build that product?”

            I am saying that when you have copyright that lasts more than a hundred years, rather than encouraging creativity and new works as stated in the U.S. constitution for example, you are actually doing the opposite, creating mega-conglomerates that restrict new works and creativity. I argue that copyright should be reduced drastically, IMO 5 to 10 years.

            And yes, in that environment everybody would be allowed to make Star Trek products because it would be in the public domain. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

            What did CBS do to “build that product”, i.e. the original 1960s TV show (or even the majority of Star Trek TV products)? Nothing. That was Gene Roddenberry’s baby, and I don’t think he’ll need to the copyright anymore to fund new works and inspire his creativity because he’s dead. Dead people don’t tend to author new things.

            CBS had no role whatsoever in the genesis of Star Trek, they just happened to be the corporation that inherited the now-50-year-old copyright – they are no more qualified to “run” Star Trek than any other company out there.

          • danielcw

            Maybe I should rephrase my question: “A monopoly over what exactly?”

            The bad thing about monoplies is, if there is only company offering a type of product.
            I.e.: only one company offering internet access in an area. But if 2 companies can offer internet, while one has a monopoly over phone lines, and the other has a monopoly over cable (as in cable-tv), they are actually in a competition, and there is no monopoly.

            Star Trek is a product. CBS has a monopoly over that product, but the are not the only ones who can offer you entertainment, or Star Trek-esque entertainment.
            They are jut the only ones who can use Kirk and Co.

            “I am saying that when you have copyright that lasts more than a hundred years, rather than encouraging creativity and new works as stated in the U.S. constitution for example, you are actually doing the opposite, creating mega-conglomerates that restrict new works and creativity. ”

            How so? How is creativity restricted? Because CBS are the only ones who are allowed to market Star trek, how does that restrict my creativity?

            And isn’t it creative to come up with new things. So as long as there aren’t so many copyrigthed stories and ideas, that every new one you could think of would violate some copyright, I do not see a problem.

            (OT: if it were my choice, I would turn copyright into a use it or lose it situation, like trademarks, but wihtout having to fight for it)

            “What did CBS do to “build that product”, i.e. the original 1960s TV show (or even the majority of Star Trek TV products)? Nothing. That was Gene Roddenberry’s baby”

            Wrong. What we now call CBS Studios financed/made every TV project from the earliest TNG episode to the Blu-ray remaster, and now the new series.
            The CBS we have now is the result of a big coorporate restructuring, I am sure you have heard about. Star Trek, since TNG was made by Paramount, and Paramount’s former TV side is now the TV part of CBS. Not sure how Star Trek “went” from Desilu to Paramount, so it may even go further back.
            And both Reoodenbery, and CBS are only parts of the equasion. Countless people worked on it, payed by CBS, but of course they did it for profit.
            And CBS is now involved in more hours of Star Trek than Roddenberry.

            “they are no more qualified to “run” Star Trek than any other company out there.”
            Maybe true, but that is not the point of copyright.

          • Vanguard

            “”Monopolies prevent competition and instead centralize market control
            into a few giant conglomerates” That sentence does not make snese. On
            the one hand you are talking about monopolies, on the other hand you
            talk about “a few”

            Yes, the copyright *monopolies” have centralized market control into a *few* giant media conglomerates.

    • danielcw

      “CBS All Access is just a restriction done on purpose; like all intentional restrictions (geo-blocking, DRM) that have come before it, will be bypassed through file-sharing.”

      You know, that those regional restrictions have their purpose and their reasons, right?

      • Vanguard

        Most every action in the world has a purpose and reason – that doesn’t mean they are compelling purposes or reasons.

        Regional restrictions in regards to copyrighted material, I would argue, have no beneficial purposes in the modern world; they instead create artificial scarcity and encourage unnecessary price discrimination.

        • Vanguard

          And by beneficial purpose, I mean in regards to the majority, that is citizens/customers.

          • danielcw

            You act like the people who work at companies are not citisens or customers. Sound like an us-versus-them mentality.

          • Vanguard

            Fair enough, it was poor wording. I should have said “majority of citizens”. The contrast I was making was to the *minority* who benefit from geo-blocking (obviously). Coincidentally, this minority isn’t the majority who “work at companies” either.

          • danielcw

            Don’t most people work at companies?
            As I said above in my other reply to you, I think I personally benefitted from regnal media markets, and I think many people do, either directly or indirectly.

            It even creates jobs.

            We may come to apolitical statement here so let me say this: Star Trek is a pure luxurary product, which I happen to love a lot. But the I think in the real of pure luxurary products not much regulation is needed.
            If we were talking about food, power, heck even the internet or access to news it would be different.
            Star Trek is culture, and people should ahve access to it.
            But culture is cheap, so even the poorer people (as I am currently myself) can afford a slice of it. And while I may not like it, at a rational level I have no problem if regional restrictions mean, that I may have to pay a few dollars more or have to wait even a few months longer.

        • danielcw

          For digital media products any scarcity is artificial.
          What do you want to do, force CBS or naybody else to sell it at your terms, instead of letting them make their own terms and then let the buyers chose whether they agree.
          We are talking about a luxury product here, not something that is a basic human need.

          The benficial purpose would be, that regional companies have chance for example.
          And that CBS can charge as much for Star Trek as possible as the regioal markets allow, which gives us more Star Trek.

          To use Star Trek as an example: without regional restrtions, only one company could have the exclusive right to Star Trek, and not many differnet ones around the world, a monoply.
          Now one might say that is bad, there should not be a monoploy. But in that case only companies who can afford to license Star Trek worldwide have a chance. Smaller regional providers would be at a disadvantage.
          Also, very likely similar providers would have similar prices, because otherwise everyone would flock to the lowest priced provider worldwide. Meaning regional prices that fit the average income of markets are less likely (well in practice that is often till the case, even with regional restrictons)

          And on a personal point: I am from Germany, I grew up with Star Trek in German, and I like it that way. If no regional provider would buy the new show, there is a good chance, that the quality of the dubs may suffer, or there be no dubs. The decline of ratings, DVD/Blu-ray sales and the rise of Netflix has already shown its effects.

          So in the end, I want Star Trek to make a lot of money, and if regional restrictions help them, good for them. And at the end, it are we, the customers, who decide whether a price is good or not.

          • Vanguard

            “For digital media products any scarcity is artificial.
            What do you
            want to do, force CBS or naybody else to sell it at your terms, instead
            of letting them make their own terms and then let the buyers chose
            whether they agree.
            We are talking about a luxury product here, not something that is a basic human need.”

            CBS is perfectly free to do whatever geo-restrictions it wants. They just shouldn’t be surprised when the market responds and customers see through this artificial scarcity and bypass it with file-sharing and/or location-spoofing tools.

          • danielcw

            “They just shouldn’t be surprised when the market responds and customers see through this artificial scarcity and bypass it with file-sharing and/or location-spoofing tools.”

            Why do you think they are surprised?

            Do you think seeing that the scarity is artifical and bypassing it via piracy is OK.

            Which is strange, since you likely will have a legal option to buy/access Star Trek in most places of the world

            I am kinda sad, that you ignored, or at least did not reply to the rest of my post

  • Trekcore, perhaps we should just have an automatic first post on any article involving Trek 2017 that lambasts Moonves and CBS for using All Access. I think it would save some time.

  • iMike

    I signed up for a week of free access to All Access … Currently I see a good amount of back catalogue content as well as the network’s current programming. ‘Supergirl’ does fairly well and it’s exclusive to All Access so I highly doubt the new Trek will be the only new program offering.

    I am sharing a screen capture to show what CBS All Access currently offers.


      Just to clarify…Supergirl may be exclusive to “All Access” insofar as it isn’t on any other streaming service (i.e. Netflix) but its definitely not exclusively ON “All Access” as the show currently airs on CBS’s regular network television channel. If the new Star Trek series was going to be handle that way I wouldn’t have a problem with it. What I do have a problem with is that the new Star Trek series is not going to air on network television at all, but be shown exclusively on “All Access”.

  • Mo

    I had a high school gym teacher who had a different idea of what “family jewel” meant.

  • Lenonn

    I’d consider $9.99 for ad-free- but they need to offer a lot more than one new Star Trek series.


    For me the issue goes way beyond having to pay $9.99/mo for another streaming service just to watch one show. I’m thinking about it in regard to the long-term future of Star Trek. If Star Trek is going to survive and retain its cultural relevance for the next 20 years and beyond, any new series is going to have to not only keep and satisfy the existing older fan base (like most of us here), but also win over an all new generation of fans in fairly significant numbers, as well as bring Star Trek back into the larger public consciousness in a way that it hasn’t been since the early to mid 90’s. I’m just not convinced that CBS’s decision to stick this new series on their minor, little-known, little-used streaming service (let’s face it, CBS All-Access is no Netflix or Hulu and is never going to be due to its limited single network content) is going to accomplish this goal. Even if by some miracle this new series turns out to be really, really good and manages to draw in a large percentage of the existing Star Trek fan base, its still never going to attract nearly as many potential new fans (at least not here in the US) or achieve the kind of mainstream recognition that it would if it was on CBS’s regular broadcast network. I’m thinking about, for instance, the would-be casual Star Trek fans who might tune in occasionally to watch an episode here or there if it were on regular TV, but are not going to go out of their way to go to a streaming service that they don’t already have and pay money to watch it. Likewise, there’s that young person who likes science fiction and watches other shows like Doctor Who, but may not know that much about Star Trek or have even heard about the new series, who might, if the show was on network television, see an advertisement for an upcoming episode or just be flipping though channels one evening and stumble across the show and be like, “Hey, this looks interesting. I think I’ll watch this.” Moonves and CBS, of course, aren’t concerned about this. They don’t really care about Star Trek, its long-term viability or building up a new generation of fans, per say; they’re predominately just interested in the here and now, in exploiting the property and its fans to try to generate some buzz and build up their streaming service. This may make perfect sense from a business standpoint, but as Star Trek fans I think we should be very concerned.

  • DC Forever

    Great news!

  • I am not Herbert

    Moonves encourages and profits from Trump’s hate and racism… =(

    …so, he sucks =(