Star Trek: Picard is beaming to Amazon Prime
Star Trek.com and Captain Jean Luc Picard himself Sir Patrick Stewart today announced that Amazon Prime will stream Star Trek: Picard internationally.
Since its revival and the launch of Star Trek: Discovery, Netflix has held exclusive rights to screen the series internationally, while CBS used the latest entry to launch its new CBS All Access streaming service.
Following the success of Discovery Alex Kurtzman announced a variety of new shows set in the Trek universe including two animated series and the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, played over seven seasons by Sir Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Even more recently it was announced the creation of the Star Trek Global Franchise Group headed by CBS Studios Executive Veronica Heart to help expand the brand even further.
As far as we knew, Netflix was going to be the key partner in the international screening of all these upcoming shows. However it was announced earlier today that that is no longer the case and, at least for the moment, one of these anticipated shows will be heading to Amazon Prime.
In a joint statement issued by CBS and Amazon it was agreed that Amazon will screen episodes of the yet untitled Picard series 24 hours after it is streamed on CBS All Access.
So why is Amazon now having a slice of the Star Trek pie so to speak? And why is Netflix, who has been reportedly paying the majority of Discovery’s budget not taking Picard forward? And is this going to be a step too far for most Trek fans who will now have to shell out for CBS All Access, Netflix and Amazon Prime (International) to watch the expanding Trek Universe?
I cannot say as I am not privy to the inner workings of big budget TV production nor am I any kind of expert what happens behinds the scenes at Trek HQ. I can only speculate until all becomes clear.
Star Trek: Discovery is made at huge cost, it is a very expensive show to make with a reported $8 million an episode budget. Even though it has become one of the most successful streaming shows the price tag attached could be too much for Netflix to gamble on with a second live action TV series. Netflix might have a ‘First Refusal’ option in their agreement with CBS and, although its not confirmed, the animated show Lower Decks could still stream on Netflix, Picard might just be too costly for Netflix which is why Amazon has stepped in.
It might prove to be a master stroke on Kurtzman and Co’s behalf as spreading the Star Trek net across multiple networks and platforms might introduce more fans; as we know that not only Amazon will be joining the game but Nickelodeon will be as well. It could however alienate some of the more long term die hard fans who will have to add more expense to seeing the continuing adventures of the Star Trek Universe.