Wednesday, 20 July 2016

2017 and the Netflix Deal

This week's news that we finally have an international broadcaster for Star Trek 2017 broke like an atom bomb. For the first time all three of the main SKoST writers give their thoughts! 

NB: All three were independently written...

Clive - Payment Shocker?!

2016 - the year that should be remembered for Star Trek fans uniting behind the 50th anniversary but may well become known as the Year of the Moan.

BeyondAxanar and now the 2017 series certainly get their places on that list because today it's been announced that the series will be making its way out of the US to 188 countries on Netflix. 

As things go this is another massive revelation in a week that has also seen George Kirk announced for a return in the fourth movie (more on that elsewhere) and a stupid spoiler of a trailer (more on THAT elsewhere too) that may well have just ruined the latest movie in a heartbeat. Fans are split it seems with some more than happy it's on Netflix while others disappointed it's not on Sky or just downright livid it won't be free to view. Indeed, it's going to be pretty much the same state of play as if you wanted to watch it in the US via CBS' new All Access subscription.

For some reason people seem shocked that CBS have sold the show to Netflix but hey, isn't that what this is all about? Surely they would logically sell it to the business that offered them the best deal and I guess in this case it was the subscription channel. 

Cards down here, I do subscribe to Netflix but only took it up recently. The addition of every single televised episode of the show to the service a week after I joined was, admittedly, manna from Heaven and I'm not complaining because it's easier than sticking a DVD on and I have every story at my fingertips. I did believe the rumour that SKY had almost signed on the line and stated so in the most recent podcast but I've had to eat my words with this news. It makes sense for Netflix to have it seeing as they already have the whole package and I would place a bet now that the classic movies will be reappearing very soon. 

What may well make this unusual is that instead of bombing the service with the whole series we're going to get one new episode a week for 13 weeks. So, what's the questions we should be asking? What day of the week is it going to be loaded onto Netflix? What time? How long after the US will we get it (within 48 hours apparently) or will it be available everywhere at the same time? I can just imagine us all sat poised refreshing the player to get it the instant it drops.

Even if the series had gone to SKY you can imagine that people would still have complained because it's still a paid TV service. Netflix is a bigger player in the UK than SKY's own sub service, NOW TV and rocks around five million subscribers and is rapidly growing. It's not the 12 million that SKY has but it's making big inroads and could well be a force to be afraid of in the future especially if it's grabbing big scalps like the new Star Trek series. 

CBS will never make everyone happy but hey, that's life so let's just get on with it. If you want to watch it you'll pay. If you don't you'll wait for the DVD or Blu-Ray.

Ian - Speed Issues

As someone with neither Sky or Netflix I was interested in seeing where the next series of Star Trek would take us. 

Sky, who have had first-run Star Trek since The Next Generation or the relative newcomer on the block Netflix. Personally there is advantages and disadvantages to either platform. As CBS have gone with Netflix we can have a look at that platform.

The biggest fear with Netflix is internet connection. Locally (Ireland) we have traditionally had poor internet but recently we have been upgraded to fibre so this won't be an issue luckily for me however but there are plenty will find this the major problem. One other thing I will be interested to see is how the home release is handled. Will we get the great content that has become the hallmark of the recent Blu-Ray releases and we worth purchasing or will it be just a half done home release that will just cater for people who lack decent internet?

One other thing I was glad to see was that we will get the episodes 24 hours after they air in the US. This continues the tradition we had since Deep Space Nine and will hopefully allow people's enjoyment not be ruined by spoilers(Beyond I am looking at you!!)

We will also get all the previous TV shows available online with Netflix. This alone along with the new content makes it worthwhile signing up seeing as you get a free month!

Tiff - Bigger Picture

When Star Trek The Next GenerationDeep Space Nine and Voyager came to air on TV in the late '80s and early '90s, the whole system of how TV shows were distributed and broadcast was far more straightforward. 

There was a huge downside back then, by the time broadcast rights were decided upon for UK and the rest of the world, the series had often been on air for up to 2 years!. 

I remember well, how being a Star Trek fan was so frustrating back then as we waited to see when Star Trek would air, on SKY One usually. 

If you didn’t have a SKY subscription then you would be in Trekkie hell, waiting forever to see if BBC TWO would maybe, perhaps air The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine in their 6pm slot. 

So despite some cries of dissent about Netflix acquiring the new 2017 show, I fully support it. 

The very concept of the new show being instantly available (not to mention the entire trek back catalogue) to a world-wide audience is something that would have been unimaginable in the hey-day of Star Trek

Also there is the corporate consideration, all art has to co-operate and work with and around business to thrive in the 21st century. 

If the global availability of new and old Star Trek brings a broader audience, and possibly even a bigger new converted fanbase then the decision to go with Netflix could cement a brighter future for Star Trek in it’s next 50 year journey.

How are you feeling about the arrival of Star Trek via Netflix for 2017? Good, bad, indifferent?

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