CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves has essentially admitted that the new “Star Trek” TV series in the works is going forward purely to help boost its new digital VOD subscription platform CBS All Access.
Speaking with reporters yesterday during its third-quarter earnings call, Moonves explained why the network is proceeding with the series:
“A lot of conversation went into what we were going to do [with Star Trek]. All Access is very important. We remain a good partner for Netflix and Hulu. Star Trek is a family jewel; it’s an important piece of business for us as we go forward.
We’re looking to do original content on All Access and build up that platform. Netflix is our friend a competitor. They compete with [CBS Corp.’s] Showtime. All Access will put out original content and knowing the loyalty of Star Trek fans, this will boost it… There’s about a billion channels out there and because of Star Trek, people will know what All Access is about.”
Announced on Monday, the new series will be executive produced by Alex Kurtzman and will premiere January 2017 on the VOD platform. The project will be the first original scripted series produced specifically for the digital platform, and will be just the start of a push into scripted series on All Access.
Moonves says the previous “Star Trek” series have all done “exceedingly well” in streaming on All Acces:
“All the series have done well in terms of streaming. Added in to that, Star Trek is a huge international franchise. Our international distribution guy is going crazy; he can’t wait to get out to the marketplace and sell that.
Right away, we’re more than halfway home on the cost of the show from international alone. The risk is small in seeing the track record. We think it’ll be great and bring in a lot more subscribers. We’re really excited about it. [Star Trek 2017 is a] world-class effort that will make all Star Trek fans proud.”
Moonves also says that there have been conversations about offering a $9.99 ad-free version of All Access to compete with Hulu’s similar effort.
Source: The Live Feed