Star Trek franchise owners ViacomCBS have reacted to the fan outcry over Discovery’s removal from Netflix.
In a surprising turnaround, Paramount owners ViacomCBS are providing an alternate way for non-North American fans to watch the latest season of Star Trek: Discovery; in anticipation of the launch of their Paramount+ service, they pulled the show from Netflix just days before its fourth season premiered.
During the “transition”, before the international rollout of Paramount+, fans can catch up with Captain Michael Burnham via the free-to-air streamer Pluto TV.
Here’s the announcement:
To all of the International Star Trek: Discovery fans: we hear you. We love this series too. We love it for the incredible cast, the hardworking crew, the imaginative storytelling, the groundbreaking, diverse characters who bring the show to life and what it represents to so many people around the world. Star Trek has always put its fans first. We want to do the same.
They go on to list the countries where the show can be seen on Pluto TV, offering a three-month discount on Paramount + too (where available). The full details are on the Official Star Trek website.
The first two episodes of Season 4 will debut on the Pluto TV Sci-Fi Channel on Fri 26th November at 9PM. Subsequent episodes will drop weekly at the same time after that, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
If you’re not familiar with Pluto TV, it’s available here and via NOW and Roku devices in the UK. It’s also on Amazon Fire devices, iOS, Android and Samsung TV Plus.
Pluto TV is what’s termed a FAST service, that’s Free Ad-Supported Television. A Viacom acquisition in 2019, prior to the CBS merger, it’s fair to say that hosting Discovery for a season will do the streamer no harm at all. Primarily, the service runs old content over a range of linear channels – including one devoted to Baywatch! It also holds a varied back catalogue of films.
We’re fighting (and losing) the urge to be rather cynical about this announcement; against a fan backlash, this is a quick fix but hardly the natural home for a high-profile show like Discovery. Providing a linear broadcast might assuage some fans, but it’s not really a replacement for the convenience of accessing episodes on demand via Netflix.
Should you still want that flexibility, you’re welcome to pay for it of course. Season 4 is also being made available to buy via digital platforms in some countries, including the UK, Germany and France, from the 26th November too.