Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)

Launched in the United States as a home video format rental service on 29 August 1997, Netflix is since 16 January 2007 a streaming video-on-demand provider, available in over 190 countries worldwide with its "Netflix Original Series" either dubbed in the language of the target country or subtitled. [12] Outside the United States and Canada, it was the first-run disseminator of the first three seasons of Star Trek: Discovery, with episodes premiering one day after their release on CBS All Access, starting on 25 September 2017 and ending on 16 November 2021. The series is slated to begin rolling out in other markets on Paramount+ (the rebranded name for CBS All Access) beginning in 2022. Discovery has temporarily moved to Pluto TV in markets where Paramount+ has not yet launched. The move to pull the series from Netflix was made just days before the premiere of the show's fourth season. [13]

In the United States, the company also used to be a DVD/Blu-ray Disc mail rental service as well; all Star Trek DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases had been available for rental.[1] In effect, this was the business model Netflix started out as initially, which two year later became a subscription service, before evolving less than a decade after that into the full-fledged streaming service it became renowned as. [14] Because the physical disc format was well on its way out as a home video format at that point in time, Netflix discontinued its founding service in September 2023 as part of the cost-saving measures to preserve profitability. [15][16][17][18]

As a full-fledged streaming service, it was announced in April 2011 that the company had signed a two-year deal with CBS to begin streaming the the six, classic pre-Discovery television series Star Trek series in the United States. Streaming of the remastered version of Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise began 1 July 2011. By September 2011, Star Trek: The Animated Series was available as well, although it wasn't part of the original deal. Streaming of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine began on 1 October 2011. [19] All but The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine were removed in the United States at the end of September 2021. [20] These two had exited the service in the United States by 1 July 2022. [21] The Star Trek films had been available intermittently.

In Canada, Netflix made The Next Generation available in late 2012, then removed it on 1 December 2013. It was re-added to Netflix Canada in July 2014, later to be taken off in early 2016. As part of the Discovery deal, all six series were made available on July 1, 2016.

On 18 July 2016, Netflix's exclusive deal for Discovery was announced. [22][23] The company beat off competition from Hulu and Amazon Prime to secure the rights. [24] The distribution deal also included worldwide streaming rights to the six previous television series, which were made available by the end of 2016 alongside the thirteen Star Trek films whose streaming rights Netflix had already acquired from Paramount Pictures – then not part of the CBS conglomerate (see: main article). The deal did not come cheap however, as CBS president Les Moonves divulged in a September 2016 interview to Variety; according to Moonves, Netflix had agreed to pay for all first season production costs, sight unseen. [25] This however, turned out to be an instance of a CBS president boasting and grandstanding to the (shareholder) audience, as the actual situation turned out to be a little more nuanced.[2] In 2018, engineers from Netflix sent a phone playing Discovery into space. [26]

By 2023 however, due to the increasingly vicious "streaming wars", all Star Trek productions have been pulled by the Star Trek franchise from domestic Netflix in favor of their own Paramount+ streaming service. All other foreign branches of Netflix were in the process of losing their Star Trek content as well for the same reasons. At the 7 December 2021 UBS Global TMT Virtual Conference, ViacomCBS president Bob Bakish had already made that franchise policy clear to the industry in no uncertain terms, in effect singling out Netflix by name. [27] The overall pullout move however, has been put on hold indefinitely by mid-2023 for reasons of severe financial adversity (see: main article), and most foreign Netflix subsidiaries still retain Star Trek in their catalogs, though the home market did not at that particular point in time.

Kurtzman-era Star Trek made a surprising – considering the treatment it had received from the Star Trek franchise – return to Netflix in the home market when it was announced on 11 October 2023 that season two of Star Trek: Prodigy, in production at that point in time, would stream on Netflix in 2024, [28][29][30] following the premiere of the series on the streaming service with season one in late 2023. [31] Earlier that year, Prodigy as a whole had been removed from the franchise by Paramount Global and shopped around for five months to third-party outsiders, with Netflix becoming quite unexpectedly the one to pick up the series eventually. On 9 November 2023, it was announced that Season 1 of Prodigy would begin streaming on 25 December 2023 as preamble to the complete series availability on the streaming service. [32]

The Toys That Made Us documentary series, a Netflix original, started its second season with an episode focusing on toys and models from Star Trek. It included interviews with, among others, Rod Roddenberry, Doug Drexler, and John and Bjo Trimble.

Background information[]

  • From 2007 to 2019, Netflix had virtually the sole, highly profitable run of streaming land for over a decade, before it attracted the envy of its soon-to-be by now substantial competitors, and took a severe beating in the subsequent aforementioned "streaming wars" as it became the primary target of its competitors and contenders for the streaming service "throne", in particular Prime Video and the very first serious Netflix contender, Disney+. Yet, all of these upstarts have as of 2025 still to show their investors and shareholders a single dollar in profits and are even hemorrhaging billions of dollars in losses instead, while Netflix has been able to hold its own as the only one (see: main article). The April 2022 "The Netflix Effect" episode of the Land of the Giants: Titans of Tech documentary series from CNN Original Series outlines how Netflix throughout their entire existence made all the right choices in their risk taking(s), while all their competitors, CBS Corporation/Viacom (the later Paramount Global) included,[3] did everything wrong.
  • The CNN documentary even gives Netflix the sole credit for the ultimate demise of the world's then-largest physical home video rental, and retail chain store Blockbuster, because of their switch to streaming, the impact of which completely misunderstood and therefore vastly underestimated by every single other industry competitor at the time. Blockbuster's demise however, did entice other entertainment media CEOs to take a closer look at streaming after all. One of these turned out to be Les Moonves (the same Moonves who later manipulated Netflix into paying the lion's share of Discovery's first season production costs) who switched his entire focus to streaming service CBS All Access, what eventually led to the revival of the live-action Star Trek franchise in the Kurtzman-era.


  1. Of the television series,Voyager, The Next Generation, and Deep Space Nine were the series box sets most often rented from Netflix, coming in at the 64th, 74th and 98th place respectively of their all-time top-100 TV show rentals, though they were eclipsed by Ronald D. Moore's Battlestar Galactica which came in at the much higher 17th place. [1] Of the films, only Star Trek (2009), coming in at place 58, had a listing in Netflix's all-time top-100 theatrical feature rentals, but in this case it beat out eternal franchise rival Star Wars which had no top-100 listing at all. [2]
  2. Netflix was actually one of the disappointed third-party investors as it had paid US$6 million, or 75% of the total production costs, per episode for the exclusive worldwide streaming rights of the first Kurtzman-era Star Trek production, Star Trek: Discovery, season one. [3] A highly criticized and controversial production which caused division in the Star Trek fanbase, it gave rise to persistent and continuous internet rumors that Netflix felt overcharged and lied to by CBS, because the fan discontent had in their eyes caused the series to become a money-losing investment. [4]
    Not only that, but as early as of May 2018 finance journal Forbes even speculated in an editorial that CBS had sold Discovery to Netflix as a "Trojan horse" in order to (financially) destroy the streaming service from within, [5] which would actually explain the often reported sumptuous over-budget expenditures and no-holds-barred extravagance for Discovery's first season. [6][7] While still speculation, the fact remained that the Discovery production had to contend with severe budget cuts from its second season onward, [8][9] implying that production funding had been dialed back substantially.
    Additionally, Netflix did not sign up for any of the later Kurtzman-era Star Trek productions, excepting the first season of Star Trek: Short Treks, which, however, was already withdrawn from the Netflix library after having been streamed for only a few weeks, only in the trailer section of the Discovery listing. The second season was not picked up by any streaming service beyond CBS All Access. Netflix had the rights of first refusal for the international distribution of any spin-offs of Discovery, but was obliged to bid for any standalone series – as unilaterally interpreted by the franchise – such as Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Lower Decks, which eventually were picked up by Prime Video. [10]
  3. When an envious Les Moonves decided to ape the success of Netflix by launching CBS All Access in 2014, it would not even constitute a fly in the ointment of Netflix for Moonves' remaining five-year stewartship of CBS Corporation as its subscriber base during this period remained next to non-existent in comparison to that of Netflix, and was at that point in time even dwarfed by those of lesser streaming services like Hulu and HBO Max (at the time riding high on the huge breakout success of the Game of Thrones series), which have become marginal by 2025 however. It was the major reason for Moonves to seek out a streaming deal with Netflix for the new Star Trek: Discovery series in the first place, which he had not planned for initially. At that time CBS All Acces simply had nowhere near the market reach Netflix had, as media analysts had already pointed out at the time. [11]

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