She felt the same way about “The Good Wife” spinoff, “The Good Fight,” CBS’s first original streaming-only series.
Although not rising to the level of Trekkies, we are “Star Trek” fans. The premiere quickly drew us in and made us interested in the characters (especially the work of the excellent Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham).
We want to see what happens next, and whether this series will live up to its predecessors, particularly “Next Generation” and “Deep Space Nine.”
We are thinking about subscribing, but haven’t decided for sure. In addition to our regular cable subscription, we already subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
Will “Star Trek Discovery” help CBS add a million or more new subscribers and hit its goal of 4 million subscribers by 2020 (it reportedly now has more than 2 million)? This is is actually a relatively modest goal, which should be easily within reach. CBS has said that the “Star Trek” premiere resulted in a single-day new-subscriber record (without providing any actual numbers).
I just attended the New York Comic Con (which reportedly had a record 200,000 attendees). While many of the series that were showcased at the July San Diego Comic Con were not in New York, CBS was smart to give “Star Trek: Discovery” a strong presence here, which included a sold-out panel discussion.
It would also be smart to have at least some presence at the smaller Comic Con events that take place throughout the country during the year.
Is “Discovery” worth the high cost (it’s reportedly CBS’s most expensive series, with a price tag approaching $8 million per episode)? It sure is.
The show would likely get modest ratings for a broadcast network, particularly CBS, whose other programming is not compatible (see “Supergirl”). It can, however, be a major success and subscription draw for a new streaming service. A couple of million viewers would be game-changing for CBS All Access (not so much for CBS). The network reportedly sold international rights to Netflix for about $6 million per episode, dramatically reducing its financial risk.
While still a gamble, there is no reason to think this won’t have a big payoff for CBS. The rules of the television game are changing at an unprecedented pace, but original content is still king.
Press stories abound about how various networks are creating their own streaming services to lure viewers turning away from linear television in favor of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. But that’s not entirely true. CBS All Access is not really competing with Netflix. Few people will drop Netflix in favor of CBS All Access.
Netflix viewers might add it to the mix, but another key target group is people who do not subscribe to any streaming service, but are heavy broadcast TV viewers.
Keep in mind that half the country doesn't subscribe to any streaming service, and half the country does not have a DVR. Some people who have only one streaming service (most likely Netflix), might consider CBS All Access before Hulu. So, while media industry folk, who are typically media-platform and device-heavy, tend to think the market is saturated, it’s not. There’s plenty of room for CBS All Access to become a major force -- particularly as it adds more original content.