As 'Star Trek: Discovery' Shows, The Streaming Exclusivity Wars Risk Driving Users Back To Piracy

from the full-circle dept

On one hand, the growing number of streaming services has been a boon for users looking for a less expensive, more flexible alternative to the bloated cable bundle. On the flip side, as a growing number of streaming services emerge and broadcasters begin launching their own services to bypass the middleman (Amazon, Apple, Netflix), we’re seeing a rush toward more and more exclusive content deals. Forcing the consumer to hunt and peck through an ocean of ever-shifting licensing windows is already confusing, but siloing content across numerous, cumulatively-pricey services also risks driving consumers back to piracy.

Case in point: CBS recently launched its own streaming platform: CBS All Access. The service, which costs $6/month with ads and $10/month without, provides access to CBS’ full roster of shows, but saw fairly tepid growth initially. But CBS recently announced that the new Trek series, “Star Trek: Discovery” will be exclusively available early to members of the service moving forward. This move did, rather unsurprisingly, result in a single day sign up record for the service, at least according to CBS:

“Tonight?s premiere of Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access drove a record number of single day signups at CBS? digital streaming subscription service. No specific numbers were reported, but the network claims today?s stats outstrip the previous record spurred by the 2017 Grammy Awards in February.”

And while that’s all well and good for CBS, many consumers already subscribe to numerous streaming platforms, and may find shelling out another $6 to $10 a month just to catch one show a poor value proposition. As a result, fairly non-surprisingly, the new Trek series wound up being heavily pirated on BitTorrent networks (and that was with the first two episodes being aired on broadcast before the real exclusivity period kicks in):

“While the premiere of Discovery was broadcast on CBS’ free over-the-air network, later episodes in the first season will be offered exclusively on CBS’ streaming video service. CBS hopes this will help the network build CBS All Access into a top-tier streaming service. But there’s a risk that it will simply encourage more people to pirate CBS’ flagship show?especially since some users who signed up for the service have been reporting reliability problems on social media.”

Over time, CBS may feel it makes sense to pull all of its content and programs off of widely available existing services and central repositories, locking them behind their own exclusivity paywall. That’s effectively what Disney just announced; the company will be pulling all of its content from Netflix so it can offer Pixar, Star Wars and other popular titles exclusively through its own platform. Comcast NBC Universal similarly decided to pull all NBC content from Netflix to house it exclusively on Comcast owned Hulu. Begun, the streaming exclusivity wars have.

Many executives will proudly believe that this kind of direct to consumer offering only makes sense. And for outfits like ESPN that were blindsided by cord cutting the logic makes sense to some degree. But in forcing consumers to sign up to too many disparate services (at $6 to $20 each) just to get the content they’re looking for, there’s a real risk that millions of consumers will once again find piracy the simpler, less expensive option. A shame after the better part of a decade it took to drive users to these alternative, “legitimate” options.

Many broadcast executives are the type to subsequently learn few if any any lessons from this likely spike in piracy, and will likely lament how they “gave consumers what they wanted and they still pirated content anyway.” To be clear the rise in streaming alternatives is a good thing, but the same hard lessons being learned by the legacy cable sector still apply here: users are looking for simplicity and value, and by forcing users to sign up to more than a dozen fractured services just to get the content they want, the industry risks providing neither.

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Comments on “As 'Star Trek: Discovery' Shows, The Streaming Exclusivity Wars Risk Driving Users Back To Piracy”

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Vidiot (profile) says:

I’ve watched favorite series vanish suddenly from Netflix or Amazon Prime (sometimes from both at once), usually in mid-binge. What will happen to the beleaguered hero in S3E7? To find out, I need a subscription to PBS Masterpiece, Britbox, or one of Amazon’s $6.99/mo add-ons.

For me, this completely obliterates the freedom and promise of OTT/streaming. It’s also promoted a kind of “streaming hedonism”, a live-for-today mentality that requires immediate, continuous binging to hedge against the prospect of that content disappearing without warning… and that’s not my favorite way to view. Next question: does anyone care?

Bundled cable pay services certainly didn’t care what we thought about their policies and practices; it was a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. (Notice I keep saying “was” regarding cable.) OTT services, though, were born and flourished due in large part to their desire to track user sentiment… make people happy. Have they gone to the dark side?

And the complicating factor is the fact that the rise of the major streaming platforms empowered individual content creators with new and undreamed-of revenue streams; now, they’re feelin’ their oats, and are willing to withhold and re-deploy content to maximize return. My Brit-cop dramas are now sprinkled indiscriminately across services from Netflix, PBS, Amazon, Acorn and Britbox… do they realize they’re becoming the new villains, keeping me from my content?

And, as Karl suggests, will that drive me to the nearest Tor node? Make it easy and reasonably-priced, and I’m first in line with my pocketbook open; start mucking around like this, and my capitalist loyalty starts to wither…

nerdrage (profile) says:

Re: Re:

We’re still in the insane-proliferation phase of streaming, where all the contenders throw their hat in the ring and try to battle it out.

But as you can attest, subscribers aren’t interested in two dozen services. They will subscribe to one to three and then most stop. And they all want the same thing in those few services: cheap price, huge libraries and buzzy shows everyone is talking about.

So whoever is biggest now will just get bigger. We’re nearing the point where the cutoff is going to be locked in and a very small number of services will keep growing while the rest go extinct.

Netflix seems sure to be a winner. Amazon will be unless Bezos gets mad his people never deliver that GoT show he wants. Unlike the others, Amazon doesn’t need video and could just bail on it. Disney is going to be in the winners circle on brand prowess alone. Never bet against Disney.

There’s room for maybe one other. Choose between: Hulu, HBO, Apple (depending on what the heck they are doing) and heck I’ll toss CBS in there. They have moxie.

And then there’s the likes of Fox and Comcast/NBC, which seem stuck in head-in-ground mode. I don’t think Hulu is going to make it. Disney/ABC will pull out of the consortium in favor of their own service, which leaves Fox and NBC to go it alone and it’s too late to start.

Those few huge winners will grow into global behemoths. The potential number of streaming customers in the world is one billion and rising. That is one hell of a lot of money, especially when you realize, the streaming services get paid directly, no distribution or advertising middlemen taking a cut. No wonder the activity is frantic.

Arthur Moore (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

All american. How convenient.

Are you really surprised? Consider the EU’s stance seems to be that Spain’s News Tax is a great idea. Consider the number of EU countries which have considered a Link Tax. Or how Germany has issues with most of Youtube.

In many ways the EU is much more protectionist than the US. They just tend to be protectionist of entire industries full of small players rather than one or two big companies.

In practice, this means that it’s nearly impossible to create an internet startup in the EU.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Add the difficulty of operating anything across all of the international borders between the EU states.
While there are obviously barriers between the US states, their divisions are much closer to being “just lines on a map” compared to the EU’s internal borders.
Far simpler to get a big service up and running with few barriers across the entire US and then maybe look at potential EU profitability in whatever countries seem easiest.

Narcissus (profile) says:

Is it a bad thing?

I agree it sucks to have to subscribe to 15 different streaming services to keep up to date with popular culture and I also agree it will likely increase piracy.

I can’t help thinking there is also a good side here though. CBS signed up a big crowd with their new Star Trek. What they will find out is that if they don’t follow up on that offering (or offer a tepid series) the trekkies will leave very fast too. That’s is the great new freedom of the streaming services, you can end them every month usually.

So, it could start a fierce competition for the streaming dollars which, by nature, are limited. So if the streaming service doesn’t offer good value for money they are destined for ignominy. It could be a new golden era of creativity and competition.

Of course I could be too optimistic but the potential is there.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Is it a bad thing?

oh yeah! because paypal is safe:

Also, nothing of the fact that there are literally millions of cc numbers floating around on the interwebs.

Also nothing of the fact that you in fact gave even more power to bank monopolies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Is it a bad thing?

Exactly. The exclusivity combined with the growing number of different services, will have a broad range of effects that dilute the value of the streaming services.

It ranges from frustrated customers feeling ripped off and leaving critical reviews to growth in obligate piracy (10-20 % of the pirate-crowd who does it out of spite and, as time goes, will go from very hard to impossible to convert back to paying customers).

Anything inbetween like “monthly service-jumpers”, “one and done bingers”, “wait for better opportunity people” (DVD etc.) and partial piracy (most pirates, paying for some and pirate the rest) will also increase.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Is it a bad thing?

That is no competition. One silo having exclusively one show while the other one having another exclusive one is NO competition but the exact opposite.

So, every silo has a “main” show that everybody (arguably) wants to see, the rest of the content (or at least the vast majority) is not as produced, as invested, as “quality”, as “good”, just filler so to speak.

So you want to eat apples one day, oranges the next, pears the next ie a balanced diet. You can’t do it cheaply and affordably, because there is only ONE vendor of each, despite all being fruits, so in effect what you have is monopolies in each type of content I mean fruit. And we know what happens with monopolies.

If all those silos had the same content worldwide available to all THEN they could compete in actual price, service reliability, content resilience, CUSTOMER SERVICE, etc. None of them needs to because they have their own little monopolies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Is it a bad thing?

It could be a new golden era of creativity and competition.

That already exists on YouTube and similar services for video, Jamendo and similar for music, and all over the Web for ebook and audio books. There are also lots of podcasts for long form news and analysis.

Start digging into what is available in various formats from self publishers, and the problem becomes not one of what to view,listen to or read, but rather what ones to ignore or drop.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Is it a bad thing?

Anonymous coward for president.

Yes, no need to watch the same stupid shit (all american by the way) from all those stupid -again all american- silos. There is oceans of beautiful and well produced stuffs produced from independent artists, bedroom producers, everyday people, from all over the world.

Yes, the problem then becomes not what to enjoy, but how to find among all those oceans of content aka DISCOVERY and CURATION.

David says:

Re: Is it a bad thing?

Yes, since I will enjoy the first “free” episodes, even despite liking Trek, will just miss the rest.

Their problem is that they are going to have to continuously advertize new and unique content to keep subscribers. It would be better to be on 1 or 2 existing services where your content can be discovered, self-marketed by the system (people who watched XXX also liked YYY).

Or if I really want Star Trek: Discovery bad enough, I’ll wait until the entire season is on-line, buy a month @$6, binge the series, then unsubscribe. Since all I want is the 1 series.

nerdrage (profile) says:

Re: Re: Is it a bad thing?

It would not be better for CBS to put their content on Netflix and Amazon. Then they help Netflix and Amazon grow into global behemoths who have sequestered the entire paying audience for streaming – theoretically a billion people and growing – in their own walled gardens. Then when CBS wants to put their little Star Trek show on Netflix or Amazon, who do you think will have all the negotiating power then? The people with a database full of a billion credit card numbers they hit for ten bucks each month, that’s who.

A little piracy is a small price for CBS to pay to avoid the terrible fate of the mere content producer in the future, competing with the myriad of other content producers desperate for distribution, and make a play to become one of the global behemoths who call all the shots. There’s a lot at stake here, which is why everything has gone nuts.

nerdrage (profile) says:

Re: Is it a bad thing?

The only reason we are getting Star Trek at all is because CBS wants to make a play in the streaming market.

Let them fight and knock each other off. We’ll end up with just a few because of competitive pressure. Bigness is what people want in a service. They want a huge library and range of choice. This will result in a few big fish that gobble the smaller fish.

Narcissus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Is it a bad thing?

“This will result in a few big fish that gobble the smaller fish.”

Not necessarily. For sure there will be big fish but there will also be a space for niche players. Seeing current prices and what cable costs you could say that people would be able to subscribe to 3 or 4 services without increasing cost. So for example 1 or 2 big fish, a sci-fy service and a Marvel service, something like that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Is it a bad thing?

No, people don’t want “bigness”, especially not in price or self righteous customer service representatives. Or in those huge EULAs.

People want many smaller companies (aka with less corrupting and abusive power) providing everything that is needed.

Your vision of the future is monopoly or oligopoly, both bad for consumers and societies.

Reima Zadet (profile) says:

Re: Stargate Command

Sorry to say but your one time fee all access is temporary. Here are the terms of your account according to the site. What do you want to bet the new series will drop on 5/16/2018?

PLEASE NOTE: PREMIUM ACCOUNTS ARE TEMPORARY IN NATURE AND WILL PROVIDE PREMIUM ACCESS TO THE SITE ONLY BETWEEN THE LAUNCH OF THE PREMIUM ACCOUNT PROGRAM ON SEPTEMBER 20, 2017 (“LAUNCH”) (OR WHENEVER YOU PURCHASE A PREMIUM ACCOUNT, IF LATER) AND THE CONCLUSION OF THE PREMIUM ACCOUNT PROGRAM AT 11:59:59 pm U.S. PACIFIC TIME ON MAY 15, 2018 (THE “ACCESS PERIOD”). At the end of the Access Period, you will lose access to the benefits of your Premium Account. Any downloadable or retainable benefit of your Premium Account must be retrieved prior to the end of your Access Period.

Avatar28 (profile) says:

Re: Stargate Command

I did as well. I haven’t even touched it though. Lack of Chromecast support means that I’m restricted to watching it on my phone or I have to drag a laptop into the bedroom, find a suitable surface to set it on so it doesn’t overheat etc. So for the moment I’m still stuck paying for Hulu to watch the Gates. I do get the nifty free shirt though.

Anonymous Coward says:

I'm not really bothered by this

The list of shows I want to watch is already too long. I should thank CBS for keeping Star Trek locked up.

As for the comparison with Disney: CBS isn’t Disney. I think Disney’s service will succeed because of their brand and the quality and quantity of what they can offer combined with an audience that is forever renewing. CBS doesn’t have any of that.

nerdrage (profile) says:

Re: I'm not really bothered by this

“The list of shows I want to watch is already too long.”

LOL same here. FX is having a fit at Netflix so they’re yanking all their shows. I just noticed Louie is leaving at the end of Oct. Dammit and I never got a chance to watch it…in the two freaking years that I had in on my queue…what are the odds I’d watch it in the next two freaking years or ever?

Take it away FX. Thanks for helping me manage the chaos.

Jason says:

I will not subscribe to a streaming service for one show, it’s as simple as that.

Besides which… one new episode a week, plus a mid-season break? They really have covered all of the ‘convenience’ of broadcast television, with the special bonus of paying extra for it and dealing with connection issues.

When and if enough time has passed that I’m convinced Discovery will never come out on blu-ray, I may consider signing up… for exactly one month, to watch the whole show, and then immediately cancel.

I agree with Ninja’s sentiment: if they’re not interested in giving me what I want in the way I want it, then I’m happy to keep my money.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Ya, why would you pay CBS $6 a month, getting Ad’s, which is just beyond silly, let alone $10 to get ad free, for what?

1 Hour on 1 day a week of Star Trek for what, a couple months and then it’s over for a year? I know they did a Big Brother thing, but how the F is this going to get people signed up, let alone sticking with the service?

If it was me, I’d wait for the season to be over, Sign up for 1 month, and binge watch and cancel after the month. If I wanted to do it legally. Disney? F them, and same with NBC. There’s no way I’m signing up to HULU.

You want to pull your stuff from Netflix, so be it. I didn’t really watch much of that stuff on Netflix anyway. I mostly watch all of Netflix Original content which is is now a ton of and it continues to grow. They also have a lot of Kids programming. So screw everyone else.

Put it this way, what you can’t watch, you can’t miss. There’s no way in hell people are going to sign up for 4,5,6,7,8,9,10 streaming services. That’s just crazy. All they’re going to do in increase Piracy. It’s been turning around and going down, thanks to Netflix. Now it’s going to increase more and more. They never have gotten it, and they continue to not get it. I’m get me CBS for free with my Antenna, and F CBS all access.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I’m sorry, but based on your comment we have determined that you will be pirating our content by not paying the amount we predetermined is appropriate to watch our programming. Therefore, we are updating our service to provide better opportunities by removing all previous episodes 72 hours after their original air date.

We appreciate your understanding and look forward to your business in the future.

nerdrage (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If CBS is going to make a go of this, they need a lot more than one stupid series, even one with the Star Trek label slapped on. They need to develop a whole lot more, direct for streaming, not crap ported over from broadcast, because people have higher standards for streaming than a lot of vanilla broadcast shows.

If CBS is smart, they will understand this and realize it will take them years to build up their service. Probably need a few Star Trek series on concurrently and a whole lot more stuff. I have heard they’re developing a couple streaming only series, and they do sound more Netflix like than CBS like, so that’s a start.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Good thing

It is competition though. This weekend when I want to watch some TV, I’m going to turn it on and choose one thing from thousands of shows. CBS Online is competing against Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime,, and the cable package I subscribe to for my attention.

Putting their stuff in a new silo is a significant barrier. Put it on iTunes or Amazon and charge $3 per episode and I’m in. Make me subscribe to something and they lose me as a viewer.

I don’t mind paying for content, but if they want me to make a commitment, they are going to have to do much better than Star Trek.

Anonymous Coward says:

On the East Coast, folks who DVR’d the premeire on Sunday found half their time taken up by ’60 Minutes’ which ran 20+ minutes late due to CBS NFL coverage. So if you DVR’d the program, you got maybe half the show’s premeire at *best*. So yeah, I’m sure folks pirated the show b/c the version they legally acquired from CBS was defective.

Meaning, either CBS botched the rollout completely or it was an intentional error to annoy time-shifters and potentially drive up subscriptions to its streaming service.

Frankly of all the major legacy networks CBS is blatantly stuck in the content-delivery mode of the ’50s and is being dragged kicking and screaming into the internet age. They expect people to pay $7 to get what you can get for free OTA, but still contain ads? YHGTBKM. “Streaming” is not the same as “OTA broadcasting” — this is 2017, not 1950.

Disclosure: I loathe CBS shows, their NFL coverage blows, and the network’s overall ‘feel’ to me seems very, very arrogant & “stuffy” compared to NBC, ABC, or FOX.

ShadowNinja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

On the East Coast, folks who DVR’d the premeire on Sunday found half their time taken up by ’60 Minutes’ which ran 20+ minutes late due to CBS NFL coverage.

LOL ONLY 20 minutes?

I remember when I used to watch The Amazing Race on Sundays. It was delayed by sports EVERY SINGLE FREAKING WEEK!

I thought I’d be good recording an extra hour of footage. But nope, CBS then had a 77 minute delay one week from a really long sports game.

At that point I said "screw this" and removed The Amazing Race from my DVR and haven’t watched it since (not even when they moved it to a night that never gets sports delays).

Why should I feed 60 minutes and other shows ratings that I don’t watch just because CBS is too incompetent to stop sports from screwing up their schedule every Sunday night? If I wanted to watch sports I’d buy an overpriced cable bundle.

SirWired (profile) says:

Wait, I thought piracy was a good thing?

I’m having a little trouble following TechDirt logic here…

A) When the story is about pirates, pirate networks, anti-piracy enforcement, etc., the argument is that everybody should just chill out, because piracy supposedly doesn’t cost anybody anything, and, in fact, somehow magically increases profits.

B) When the story is about content providers charging for content that gets pirated, the argument is that if they don’t set up their business in exactly the way the TechDirt editors think they should, it’ll increase piracy. But in this case it’s somehow a terrible thing that the content provider should be trying to avoid.

Which is it? Is piracy a net-positive (or at least neutral) for the content industry and it should be encouraged (or at least ignored) or is it net-negative and should be avoided/prevented?

SirWired (profile) says:

Re: Re: Wait, I thought piracy was a good thing?

Yes, life is complicated. And the truth is somewhere in the middle. But this story, like many articles on intellectual property here, fails to capture any sort of nuance or subtlety.

Instead, it pretty much boils down to: “Content pirates should have no legal restrictions placed on them, and shouldn’t even feel bad about consuming all the content they want for as little as they feel like paying. Content providers should never charge more for content than what TechDirt editors are willing to pay (which will very often be $0) or deliver it under any mechanism that the editors might find the least bit inconvenient, especially if that mechanism makes piracy anything more than trivial.”

SirWired (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Yes, I read it

Yes, I read the article. And I’m struck by how whether piracy is good or bad depends on which side (producers or consumers) the story is about. And that TechDirt should just be up-front that what they are really in favor of is getting whatever content they want for whatever price they feel like paying (including $0) without repercussions.

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Yes, I read it

No where in the article does it touch on whether piracy is good or bad.

Consistently, successful business strategies to deal with piracy using market factors are the good (whether they are embracing it or limiting it doesn’t matter), dialing up the gov’t oppression to try (with basically no measurable success) to force compliance is basically the “bad”

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Wait, I thought piracy was a good thing?

Content providers should never charge more for content than what TechDirt editors are willing to pay (which will very often be $0)

Christ, you’re dishonest.

If there’s one big lesson you’ll learn from the stories at Techdirt it’s that when you give people a reasonable option to pay, they’ll pay.

This story is about what happens when you DON’T give that option. The Netflix / Amazon Prime model works. People pay. But put each show on its own separately paid service – and don’t make even THAT available everywhere – and people pirate.

SirWired says:

Re: Re: Re:2 People aren't cheapskates?

I’m not being dishonest at all. When TechDirt has a link to an article titled “Saying you can’t compete with free is saying you can’t compete” on permanent placement right there on the homepage, I’m pretty sure that $0 is an option they expect a lot of people to take if it’s an option. (And that article itself is a bunch of tripe; it places a $0 value on content itself, seeming to imply that the only valid value is experience around the content, e.g. DVD bonus features, seeing a movie in a theater with friends, etc.)

And Star Trek Discovery ISN’T on its own separately-paid service. It’s being bundled alongside a large chunk of CBS’s entire TV programming library going back decades. Now, you may not think that library is worth what CBS is charging for it, but choosing what price they will accept for that access is CBS’s decision to make.

If you think the price is unreasonable, then you can just find something else to watch. I don’t see why taking it for free through other methods is often viewed here as a perfectly acceptable option.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 People aren't cheapskates?

When TechDirt has a link to an article titled "Saying you can’t compete with free is saying you can’t compete" on permanent placement right there on the homepage, I’m pretty sure that $0 is an option they expect a lot of people to take if it’s an option.

As should content creators. Just as they compete with other content creators for money, they also compete with “free”—piracy—for a potential customer’s attention. If a customer thinks the legal-but-costs-money option is inconvenient, too costly, or both, that customer will either go without or look for the illegal-but-free option. In either case, the content creator loses a potential customer because the legal path was too burdensome for that customer’s taste.

The trick, then, is offering a service that potential customers will see as enough of a worthwhile value and a convenience to make them actual customers. Just look at Netflix—legal, convenient, and largely considered worth the cost based on the amount of available content.

it places a $0 value on content itself, seeming to imply that the only valid value is experience around the content, e.g. DVD bonus features, seeing a movie in a theater with friends, etc.

The objective value of a single digital bit of data is zero dollars. The objective value of a terabyte of date is zero dollars. The objective value of a book, a movie, a videogame, a painting, a song—any form of content—is zero dollars. We attach a monetary cost to access or own a copy of the media that we experience because we believe people should be compensated for making that content. Any value we perceive as a result of this cost, and our experiencing of that media, is ultimately subjective.

Star Trek Discovery ISN’T on its own separately-paid service. It’s being bundled alongside a large chunk of CBS’s entire TV programming library going back decades. Now, you may not think that library is worth what CBS is charging for it, but choosing what price they will accept for that access is CBS’s decision to make.

Someone who wants to see Discovery must decide for themselves whether that access to that library alongside Discovery is worth the associated cost. CBS can make the service seem worth the cost, but the person determines whether that service has value to them. If someone thinks CBS is overcharging for a perceived “lesser” service, CBS has no obligation to lower the cost. But if enough people think the cost is not worth the perceived value of the service, CBS might want to think about lowering the cost so it can keep people away from looking for “free” copies of Discovery.

If you think the price is unreasonable, then you can just find something else to watch. I don’t see why taking it for free through other methods is often viewed here as a perfectly acceptable option.

Acceptable? No. Inevitable? Yes. Piracy cannot and will not be stopped any time soon, which means any business model must take piracy into account. CBS chose not to do that when it decided to release almost all of Discovery exclusively on CBS All Access. For Star Trek die-hards who have no interest in CBS’s library, the choice becomes clear: Pay at least $6 to watch Discovery on CBS All Access—a cost that offers no offline copy of the show for later viewing and the possibility of limited device compatability—or pirate the show to watch and re-watch at any time on any device.

Some people will see that $6 as an acceptable cost. Others will not. If CBS did not anticipate an explosion in piracy rates as one of the outcomes of this streaming-video pissing contest, it cannot blame pirates for that failure of vision.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 People aren't cheapskates?

One of the competitors to cable, TV and the paid streaming services is YouTube. I am finding an increasing number of people who use it for some to all of their video viewing. That is the free that the legacy industry needs to compete with, and that will be difficult as YouTube gives everybody who wants to use it a voice.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Wait, I thought piracy was a good thing?

“Content pirates should have no legal restrictions placed on them, and shouldn’t even feel bad about consuming all the content they want for as little as they feel like paying”

I totally agree with you. Some “artists” are just cheap, parasitic, rent-seeking leeches who would like to receive eternal unlimited pay for what was mainly the same unit of time/effort invested aka a music or a video.

orbitalinsertion (profile) says:

Re: Wait, I thought piracy was a good thing?

It’s not about "exactly the way Techdirt wants", Techdirt notices what people actually do.

It’s almost as if you think this is ideological…

The point is, if you want subscribers, you don’t drive them to ignore you, or [back]to piracy, by doing a crap job at your offering. People who could never afford it, or who are the stereotypical "i want everything for free, just because" sorts who the cranky types like to hold up as the only kind of pirates, are going to pirate or not either way.

Making content costly or annoying to consume will lose customers regardless if it is in the format of cable tv or streaming. It isn’t about some sort of ideological "format war" in that regard, either. Comcast could do exactly what Netflix does, only they won’t. Near the entire benefit of a newer technology delivery system in this case is psychological/cultural: they got providers to treat them differently because reasons, even though they would probably like to treat streaming just like cable. It’s new! Maaaaagic. That’s how stupid these industries are. And this is them being stupid again.

SirWired says:

Re: Re: Yep, people are gonna pirate.

I’m not disputing that when somebody charges more for content than a consumer is willing to pay, or makes it less convenient than a consumer might want, some consumers are going to take the content for free through other means.

I’m just saying that TechDirt should drop the fiction (seen often in TechDirt articles) that this piracy is net-positive (or net-neutral) for the people producing that content.

The fact that piracy costs content producers money is at least tacitly acknowledged in articles like this one. But when the article is about DRM, or intellectual property enforcement? We are presented with the view on how nobody should bother trying to prevent piracy (through either technical or legal means) because it doesn’t actually result in any kind of monetary harm to the producer anyway.

I happen to agree with the premise of this article. I think CBS is valuing access to their programming library too highly. I agree that this will lead people to pirate ST:D. And that this piracy will be a net-negative to CBS’s goals of profiting off the show. I agree to all of it.

I’m just pointing out the logical inconsistency between saying “Piracy is bad and content providers should try to avoid it” here, and the “Piracy isn’t harmful, and isn’t even wrong” when that argument is convenient instead.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Yep, people are gonna pirate.

” when somebody charges more for content than a consumer is willing to pay, or makes it less convenient “

Less convenient – lol, what about the cases where it is impossible? Yeah, so just pay – even if you do not like the content … you still pay, or else you are a pirate … even if you do not have a tv, computer or gramophone.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Yep, people are gonna pirate.

Have you never BOUGHT DRM laden shit? I have and learned my lesson. I and others like me are the examples that TD points to about how DRM reduces the numbers of PAYING customers as well as how much they willing pay. After they learn, they refuse to repeat the FULL experience. DRM sucks and if you tried to eat your own dogfood you would know why customers hate it.

techflaws (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Yep, people are gonna pirate.

“I’m just saying that TechDirt should drop the fiction (seen often in TechDirt articles) that this piracy is net-positive (or net-neutral) for the people producing that content.”
Link to where exactly that is said. Also, please offer stats that prov your assertion it’s the other way round.

mcinsand (profile) says:

Re: Wait, I thought piracy was a good thing?

Let me try to use small words, so that maybe you’ll have half a chance of understanding. The article concerned piracy as an indicator of a mismanaged market. CBS’ executives are grossly overestimated both their ability to generate competitive content and the ability of a single show to carry a streaming service.

I strictly do not pirate, and I had no trouble understanding the article. I support the music, games, and television that I enjoy by paying for it. In this case, CBS doesn’t appear to be worth it, so I won’t be watching the new Star Trek. However, I also understand that there is a demographic that will have no qualms about pirating. If many of these people do flip to watch via piracy, then that is a sign of how badly CBS has misjudged the market. Whether pirating is good or bad is a totally separate debate, well away from this article.

ANON says:

Re: Wait, I thought piracy was a good thing?

No, real simple…

Piracy is an effect of bad business models. If content is available at a reasonable price, (almost) nobody would pirate.

What’s a month worth of your attention to a canned video presentation worth? Let’s pretend the typical cable bill is $80 and let’s pretend half is for current content – mostly sports. That implies people on average would pay instead about $40 a month for full access to the massive backlog of cultural media that exists; for full and diverse content, probably a bit more.

IMHO the ideal service(s) should allow you the same access as a video store or library, for the appropriate fee(s). If I want to see a sample episode of “My Mother the Car” or “Dallas”, if I want to see “Lost Horizon” or “Barabrella”, that should be available. If I want to see the first 3 seasons of Amazing Race or the last episode of “The Muppet Show”, that should be available. There is no technical reason why any of these could not be available (except, is “My Mother the Car” available anywhere?)

By fragmenting the market and hiding a great deal of content, those content owners fail to attract customers and drive them to piracy. Perhaps the owners over value old content? Perhaps they want to attract them to new content? (WHY? A dollar is a dollar. Old content is already paid for…)

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Wait, I thought piracy was a good thing?

I think you’re seeing a contradiction that doesn’t actually exist. Allow me to rephrase your points:

A) The supposed financial losses caused by piracy have been massively, insanely overstated. The free copying of media is so inevitable to the root technological nature of the internet itself that it frankly can’t be stopped, except via means that do widespread and unacceptable collateral damage to free expression, and that help build media company monopolies. Most attempts by companies to aggressively fight piracy bear little in the way of returns, and indeed nowadays just funnel money into a new industry of companies that will play the whac-a-mole game for you, for a fee (and which have zero interest in responsibly deploying things like DMCA notices, exacerbating the collateral damage). Piracy does not "magically increase profits" but it does almost always represent an opportunity to increase profits, not by magic but with a smart business model.

B) But of course businesses need revenue. So for a media business, it’s not that they shouldn’t "care" about piracy, it just depends on how you define care. They shouldn’t be angry about piracy, and go around seeing every pirate as a "lost sale" – they should be excited about their popularity, and see every pirate as a potential sale! It’s just a matter of figuring out what to sell them. If all you have to offer is "access to the content", then you have nothing. If you have other things – even something as simple as "the fastest, most convenient access" – then maybe you’ve got something to work with. But really you want something even more than that. Many good models don’t involve worrying so much about access to the content at all, but about scarcities and other selling possibilities around that… but, "consistent, comprehensive access to a whole lot of diverse content" can still be an excellent selling point – it’s a huge part of what made Netflix rise to prominence. And now it appears to be disappearing from the industry as streaming services and content makers keep announcing their plans to fragment and go solo. Everyone is trying to walk away with their slice of the pie when they would all be much better off collaborating to make the pie bigger and bigger.

Piracy is neither a positive nor a negative – it simply is. As an indicator, piracy alone doesn’t tell you much except that a show is popular; but looked at in combination with other factors and a deeper study of how and why people consume the content they do in the ways they do, it can tell you a lot about how to build a business.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Wait, I thought piracy was a good thing?

Just imagine if they make their content all available to multiple streaming services, don’t need to deal with the infra-structure costs and make tons of money because people will pay more for services that offer more? What if they suggested Netflix adds tiers to their streaming service so people can get access to their content for a small, added fee to the standard subscription which would give early access to these new shows?

We can only imagine such wonderful world now that Disney, CBS etc decided to go dumb and fracture the market. And consequently drive people to piracy. Or have them go without.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Twice. That’s my limit.

I’m paying for Star Trek on cable, which includes several CBS channels. But now they’ve tuned that into a rip-off, moving the new shows to a separate service.

I’m paying for Star Trek on streaming. The Star Trek library was a major selling feature for Shomi, a streaming service sold by Canadian ISPs and cell phone provider. They’ve shut it down, but I’m still billed for it through my cell phone contract.

I’m not paying a third time. Not that there’s a reasonable streaming option in Canada anyway. (It’s not available here on CBS All Access OR Netflix.) I’m downloading.

They can call me a pirate, and I’ll call them scammers. I’m paying for it twice. That’s my limit.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’m planning to pay for CraveTV once I’m no longer billed for Shomi.

The question I’ve been unable to find an answer for, is WHEN is it available on CraveTV? The news reports I read said they would shown “delayed” on that service.

Delayed how long? The problem with Shomi and CraveTV was that they were set up by the cable companies specifically to NOT compete with cable. So they might delay a show a week or a season. Or in the case of Top Gear on Shomi, five years.

As for carrying HBO, when I looked for Last Week Tonight in Canada a few weeks back, CraveTV didn’t have it. You have to subscribe to The Movie Network on cable, before you could stream it on HBO GO Canada. And you can’t subscribe to The Movie Network without subscribing to a bunch of other channels. In other words “effectively unavailable.”

nate Hoffelder (user link) says:

missed the point

I can’t help but feel you missed the point, Mark.

Your obsession with piracy has distracted you from the real goal, which is maximizing revenue. CBS is making a bet that they will earn more from exclusive streaming in the US (plus Netflix for int’l viewers) than from wide distribution.

And if they are right then the piracy doesn’t matter. CBS will have gotten the most they could have from this title, which is exactly what their owners (the Redstones) would want.

Piracy doesn’t matter in and of itself. What matters is making money, and piracy is only relevant when it can tell you how, where, or when you might make more money.

And the simple fact is, the aforementioned piracy stats don’t tell us that going wide would generate more revenue than CBS is getting right now. You have assumed that to be true, but you have not proven it.

And do you know what? I am expecting CBS will take Discovery wide in either 6 months (or after the end of the first season). It won’t be proof the exclusivity failed (which is how it will be framed here at techdirt) but part of their plan to capture the most money by first holding an exclusive and then getting the licensing fees later. That’s how I would do it, and if I am smart enough to see it then so are CBS.

Anon says:

Re: missed the point

Yes and no.

Consider Napster. For over a decade, recording companies refused to sell MP3’s. During that time, services like Napster allowed me to amass that content for free. iTunes sold the content, but it wouldn’t play on my non-pod players due to DRM – so, no sale. By the time the music industry figured this out, I had already amassed most of the 60’s and 70’s hits that I really wanted to own.

This is not to say I am completely a free-loader. I own 600-plus music CD’s, I own about as many DVD’s; all that content bought when prices were still premium, $20 for DC’s and $25 for DVD’s. I fail to see the value in paying almost as much as those cost now for a file that cost basically nothing to deliver, that may or may not run next year, or a “service” where I need to go to see my purchased content. (And eBooks are pulling the same trick).

The moral is – if you wait too long to distribute widely, many people will have already enjoyed the content – free – and will not now pay again for a replay. Very little video content enjoys the same replay distinction as music. Few people want to watch “Meet the Fokkers” or “Dumb and Dumber To” over and over.

crade (profile) says:

Re: missed the point

I think the mistake here is on Netflix side not CBS. I don’t think it is in their best interest to keep fracturing their offering regionally and they have said as much in the past. Meanwhile here they are paying basically the full production cost of this show just to
a) create a new potential competitor
b) further fracture and complicate their offering

I hope the upside of the number of international customers that will join or stay because of this one program. My suspicion, however is they already have some sort of deal to open it up globally after an exclusivity period that they can’t discuss yet

Phoenix84 (profile) says:

Only first episode was aired on TV

“(and that was with the first two episodes being aired on broadcast before the real exclusivity period kicks in)”

Not sure where you got that information, but in my area (California), only the first episode aired on CBS. The second episode had to be accessed on All-Access.

Anyway, I already have Netflix and Amazon Prime. I won’t be signing up for another service to watch *one* show.

Also, if we already have cable, why can’t this be included with our cable service?

Manabi (profile) says:

Re: Re: Only first episode was aired on TV

Nah, CBS has been pretty open that they view Star Trek Discovery as a gateway drug for their streaming service. They did it that way to try to drive as many signups as possible, and it sounds like it worked. (Although the fact they refused to provide any actual numbers means we should view their claims skeptically. If they had truly massive numbers of signups, they would announce the number.)

Manabi (profile) says:

Re: Only first episode was aired on TV

It wasn’t just in the California area, but everywhere. They aired half the pilot episode, loaded it down with an absolutely obscene amount of commercials, and pushed HARD to get everyone to go signup for CBS All Access to watch the second half. The only reason they did it this way was to try to drive many signups for their streaming service. That much worked, time will tell how many people continue past the free trial.

I’m with you, we have Netflix, Amazon Prime, and pay for cable TV. I will not pay for another streaming service to watch one series. Especially one that I don’t think I’m going to like based on the half the pilot I got to see.

Pixelation says:

I'm thinking...

I’m thinking CBS has probably done me a favor. By sticking the new Star Trek in their streaming service, I won’t watch it. No chance of being disappointed when it sucks.

Here is what companies like CBS are missing… I want to have one or two subscriptions where I can get pretty much any show/movie and pay by the episode/season/series. Get rid of non-skippable ads, which make shows skippable for me. Get rid of region restrictions. I know this is a pipe dream since these companies are so focused on the money that the experience sucks. And they wonder why people pirate.

Anonymous Coward says:

Keeping up with various services is expensive e.g. here in the UK if you wnat to watch a lot of UK sport (e.g. cricket) you either subscribe to Sky or go without, and with UK top tier football you need Sky and BT.
.. Thats before you get to TV / film subscriptions which could require various providers.
To legitiantely get all the content someone with varied tastes may want, would mean you have to spread across many providers, at high overall expense.
Net result is people either go without or pirate.
In UK plenty of big US shows such as GoT, Breaking Bad have not been UK available over free to air, ony via subscription, Star Trek Duscovery will be netflix only in UK.
I personally do not watch lots of TV that I would like to, due to not being able to justify the cost (benefit is cash saved means partner & I go to restaurants, gigs, mini breaks etc. instead of watching a screen (bar occasions when saved cash spent on cinema visit!))
Only streaming service I make use of is Amazon Prime (purely because one of the people I live with has Prime subscription so I will occasionally join them if they are streaming stuff I might enjoy)
If something is not on free to air (I’ll put up with a few ads to subsidize it) then the big media companies do not get my cash (if I was richer maybe things would be different, but for me, like many people, economic realities dictate a lot of decisions).
If I could get all I wanted on one nice simple (non exorbitant) subscription then I would be happy to pay for that, but a fragmented multiple service solution is too convoluted and costly so media companies lose out.

Grey says:

I’ve never seen a single channel where it’s so good that I want that one, all the time, All the shows.

Disparate streaming services mean that I’ll just weigh the cost of subscribing against buying the series on Blu-ray later. (I don’t pirate, hell, I deliberately stop at crosswalks to piss my friends off rather than jaywalking for my own twisted ends)

Of course, memory is fickle, and after the release to disc, the odds are high that I won’t give enough of a damn to bother buying the disc either.


Re: Re: We already get the milk

If the CBS streaming service offered everything CBS owns since it started broadcasting,

That’s pretty much half the channels on cable. There are about 20 or 30 dairies already handing out that milk for free. This even includes various “rerun networks” that broadcast over the air (like MeTV).

The Party of Hell No! says:

CBS Streaming Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!

As a person who suffered through CBS streaming service trying to watch the series Elementary I can emphatically say to CBS “good luck with that!” “May you be pirated into bankruptcy.”

In the end I could only watch Elementary on one device – my laptop and only on IE; sometimes it would stream with ads, sometimes without ads; sometimes it would start by showing an ad and then get stuck, and of course when I refreshed I would see the same ad and then it would get stuck. Usually at this point I would give up and wait a day and retry. If only it were like cell phone minutes – the ads would be counted up and carried over to the next viewing session. If I had surplus I would not have to watch future ads till the carried over ads were used up. Pitiful streaming service.

nerdrage (profile) says:

this is bigger than piracy

“Back” to piracy? People who pirate content never stopped. Most people don’t bother to pirate and will watch whatever is convenient by simple (i.e., legal) means. Piracy involves setting up some Kodi box and doing this and that and by that time you’re bored, you just want to click a button and get on with it.

Star Trek Discovery is now on the top most pirated shows list. But you know what I saw on that list, only higher? The Orville. available easily on broadcast. People are gonna pirate no matter what, why stress about it?

The streaming wars are corporation vs corporation because only a handful (I guess four) will survive as global streaming behemoths, and the rewards for that handful will be huge because when they have hundreds of millions of subscribers locked into walled gardens, they will have immense power. That is what CBS and all the rest are fighting over.

Compared with this, worrying about piracy is trivial. Piracy will still exist when the four global walled gardens grow to immense size, profitability and power in the coming years. Piracy is like background noise, always there but easily ignored.

McGyver (profile) says:

Re: this is bigger than piracy

Exactly… And in the end when there are four or less mega streaming services, we will be in far worse shape, then with cable.
Consumers will pay more for less and the streaming services which will have gained more power then the cable companies and because the parent companies of the mega streamers are already so well versed in bending the laws to protect their interests, they will use their power and influence to further silence free speech and creativity all in the name of protecting their walled gardens from the pirates they created…
People cheer the death of cable, but what is waiting down the road is not better, just different and eventually a lot worse.

nerdrage (profile) says:

Re: Re: this is bigger than piracy

Oh I don’t know. At global scale, the services won’t have much need to jack up prices and the ease of switching will inhibit excess greed. As libraries s

Remember, cable behaves badly because they have monopoly power and don’t have to do things like make it easy for customers to switch between services.

Sadly since cable can morph into the iSP business, we can’t shake those morons loose…

any mouse cow word says:

The fragmented streaming market looks an awful lot like unbundled “a la carte” cable subscriptions that everyone said they wanted, now with the convenience of watching on your own schedule. Cable execs kept insisting that a la carte would suck if you had to subscribe to each service separately. I’d hate to admit it, but for once they were right.

Paul Brinker (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s bad now because its new. This is still the wild west of streaming. Firms have not learned that a single headline show wont make the big bucks. Instead the real money is in the back catalog.
This is why Netflix is building hundreds of original programs. The back catalog works best with almost 10 years of content as Disney knows. Its about being around long enough for people to want to re-watch shows or show them to their kids. Disney is huge in this market with its feature films and time gates on delivery.

More likely firms will figure out how much things are really worth and then let platforms like Netflix handle distribution for them. But to get to that point they need to actully find out what the value is in the first place.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

That is not a la carte. A la carte means everything in the same restaurant, not in different restaurants.

The reality is, we could have many distributors offering the same content, all of it, and competing on price, customer service, reliability and other things, but some greedy idiots aka the production houses and their stupid business models aka licensing don’t allow for this, but technically and business-wise is perfectly doable, just not in line with their profit expectations.

Anonymous Coward says:

Oh Hells no

For any content provider who thinks I will pay you directly for your streaming service, here is some steaming service news for you. I won’t do it, so bugger off.

I have been with Netflix forever, Amazon Prime for a while, and more recently DirecTV Now. but that is my limit.

If you want my eyeballs, pick one of them and stop acting like your ‘precious’ content is worth its own streaming service.

If you wall it up, I will not come. I will not pay extra for channels, add-ons, upgrades, or individual streaming services.

Will I pirate them? nope. But you loose out on any revenue you could have made by licensing it to a working, tried and true distributor like Netflix or Amazon. (‘DirecTV Now’ sucks because of constant, endless, buffering)

Greed in the entertainment business is reaching abysmal levels, and will likely implode under its own weight.

I personally hope that the CBS and Disney services fail spectacularly along with any other “me too” attempt to grab more money from me.

Anonymous Coward says:

They could make this work better

The problem I see CBS as making is not that they’re charging too much. $6, $10 per month seems more than reasonable for the whole lineup. However the new sign-ups just want ST:D, for which this price is driving people away. If CBS would give a discount for accessing just that then they should be able to keep most the trekies.

Bonus points if they include all StarTreks and offer DRM-free downloads.

I’ve actually been enjoying this model for an independant documentary series, and the BBC are trying it out for Sherlock.

F_CBSOnline says:

CBS doesn't get it...

Have had the conversation at the home.

Cost isn’t part of the equation.

What is, is that accompanying the STD (can believe execs let them go with a sexually transmitted disease acronym) are crap shows.

Why would I spend money for one program? CBS doesn’t have much to offer for our household tastes.

We’re gonna wait it out for when it goes syndicated and we can watch it over broadcast years later, on Netflix when they get the rights or simply do without ever watching the program – which from out families view, wasn’t very good.

It’s just more death and destruction which Disney now pumps out through Marvel and Star Wars franchises. ZZzzz am bored already.

Anonymous Coward says:

Manifestly, only thing that doesn't drive some to piracy is giving away all for free.

And that’s always been the Unholy Grail here at Techdirt.

BTW: Here’s a FACT: Netflix isn’t paying its way! It’s TWENTY BILLION IN DEBT!

Netflix is being subsidized by "venture capitalists" (actually due to central bank) free printing era, clearly attempting to build a monoopoly with user-base large enough to sustain, heedless of costs in future. Youtube is essentially the same (subsidized). NEITHER are gaining money.

The low-cost yet unlimited viewing notion is doomed. It has NEVER worked. I doubt that it can.

nerdrage (profile) says:

Re: Manifestly, only thing that doesn't drive some to piracy is giving away all for free.

The economics of streaming only work at huge global scale. At some point, efficiencies of scale will kick in for Netflix and they can keep ramping up customers without ramping up content costs at the same rate.

But Netflix’s scheme has never been tried, so how do you know if it will work? We’ll know it has failed when they go out of business. Until then…who knows.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Manifestly, only thing that doesn't drive some to piracy is giving away all for free.

The same thing goes for Righthaven but that hasn’t stopped Liam O’Grady from funding a hemorrhaging anti-piracy service that gets its money from intimidating little old women.

If YouTube isn’t gaining money you’d think the RIAA wouldn’t spend so much time trying to bring it down.

You’re not really good at thinking at all, are you?

rebrad (profile) says:

Horrible Quality and Horrible Interface

I shelled out for the CBS app on Amazon Prime. My issue is even with a 100MB connection video and audio quality is less than that of the premiere on the OTA broadcast. On top of that the interface looks and fills something from the 90s. If I pay for something I expect quality and if next weeks episode is as bad I will drop the CBS app.

Rekrul says:

I downloaded the first two episodes of Star Trek Discovery and to be honest, I’d rather watch The Orville. Actually, I’d rather be watching Dark Matter, but the asshats at the idiotically name SyFy canceled it on a massive cliffhanger.

Anyway, Star Trek Discovery strikes me as wanting to ride on the coattails of the Abrams movies. I don’t care what the creators say, there’s no way in hell this show fits in with the other Trek shows. They all made some effort to maintain continuity while Discover doesn’t even make a token attempt. It’s a blatant attempt to cash in on the recent movies. I didn’t really care for those either. I still haven’t bothered to watch the last one. I’m not even sure of the title at the moment.

CBS wants me to pay for a streaming service just for this one show? I get the episodes for free and I’m not even sure I’m going to continue watching it…

fairuse (profile) says:

Just who is CBS, NBC, FOX, Disney trying fool?

I have Cable TV. I have Netflix. I have Amazon Prime. What I don’t have is consistent access to something as simple as ondemand across all devices. Cable ondemand may have next day post of a show; maybe the mobile app is authorized to play it, however, desktop is 50-50 chance of playing it in that OS, browser, version of adobe device DRM.

It’s all about control. Any prime time series is subject to distribution rights. EXAMPLE: Person of Interest on CBS was restricted by Warner Bros. from internet streaming, ondemand listing — basically just broadcast it and hope people come back.

The mess of who gets to do what with a TV show is a committee of bean counters who want as much money as the market will spend.

Question: Is CBS trying to undercut distribution cost? If NBC hates a Netflix deal — later dudes. Fox just doesn’t want to lose money.

What will happen is cable will dump a box of $ on some networks just to keep splintering the market. <<– my opinion.

John85851 (profile) says:

The Good Fight

It’s interesting that everyone is talking about piracy and CBS AllAccess now.

Did you know that “Star Trek: Discovery” (STD) was originally supposed to air back in January, but was delayed due to reshoots and other production issues? Instead, CBS used this same strategy with “The Good Fight”, the spinoff of “The Good Wife”: the first episode was shown on regular CBS and the rest of the series was shown on AllAccess.

Yet there were no discussions back then about how CBS AllAccess wasn’t a good deal or how CBS was greedy or how people were pirating the show.
I’m sure “The Good Fight” had decent enough numbers and far less piracy to convince CBS executives that the idea would work for STD.

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