Star Trek is one of two franchises that is expensive to love. Along with Star Wars fans, Paramount loves to double-dip their fans when releasing content whether it is their movies, series or special collector’s sets. Star Trek: Discovery is a huge pirate hit. CBS tried to make fans pay for this new Star Trek series by throwing it up on their paid service. While there are some fans paying for the service, there seems to be a steady stream that have had enough.
Ars Technica is reporting that Star Trek: Discovery got high ratings and drove up signups. However, it is getting big numbers on pirate sites. The Pirate’s Bay claims that the premiere episode of the series is the twelfth most downloaded show. The second episode is coming in at number 19. In combination of server issues from the CBS All-Access app, that will lead to bigger piracy problem.
— Robot Arms (@RobotArms) September 25, 2017
It is not a surprise that many people resort to pirating the series. There are many fans that are upset about having to pay a monthly fee just to watch Star Trek. The entire series catalogue is available on Netflix and Hulu. It has been thirteen years since a Star Trek series was on television. However, if you have been a Star Trek fan, you have been getting screwed for years.
Star Trek Fans Have Had It
Special collector sets of various episodes were sold. Eventually, when they began releasing entire seasons on DVD, they were priced so high you had to put them on a wish list. Even when the format moved to Blu-ray, DVD prices were still higher than DVDs for the Harry Potter movies. The entire series of Star Trek: The Next Generation will cost you $160 on Amazon for the DVD set. Prices range from $150 to $213 for the same set on Blu-Ray.
Keep in mind, this series went off the air in 1994. Yet, Viacom still thinks that there is enough desire for Star Trek that they can milk their fans some more. Don’t get me wrong, there are people that will pay for it. I will not. After the fiasco of their Blu-ray releases regarding the new Kelvin-timeline series of movies, I will not.
The Last Straw
Paramount decided that if you wanted certain bonus features from the movies, you would have to purchase it from various retailers. Not any other film release is handled this way. If you wanted more behind-the-scene documentaries, you would have to get it from Best Buy. Wanted gag reels, you would have to get it from Target. They did this and the fans screamed in defiance. They claimed to have learned from the mistake and said that will not happen with Star Trek Into Darkness.
Yet, they went back and double-dipped. They released a two-movie set and added all the bonus features to the original 2009 Star Trek movie. In regard to their television series, they released compilation sets focusing on Q, the Borg and alternate timelines. All their television series are available on other services, CBS has no other alternative than to move it to a paid site? Essentially saying, Star Trek would not survive in today’s television climate so we will put it on a paid service. Thus, anyone wanting to see it, while be willing to pay for it.
If they had released a new series on Netflix or Hulu, that would be a different story. Nearly everyone has those service. That is not to say there would not be pirates, because there always is. However, CBS in their greed for money, they are forcing fans to pay, pirate or skip it. Unfortunately, we will be seeing more of the latter two options. There are record number of signups for Star Trek: Discovery, when it is over – there will be a record number of cancellations.