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

SkyShowtime is the name of the streaming service that was launched on mainland Europe in September 2022 by joint venture owners Paramount Global and Comcast. For Paramount in particular the new streaming service was intended as the more attractive option for potential European subscribers, especially for those countries where Paramount+ had not been launched yet. The launch of the streaming service will mean that several Kurtzman-era Star Trek productions will become officially (and legally) available for first-time watching in those territories where they had previously not been, most conspicuously the first season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and the fourth season of Star Trek: Discovery.

On 18 August 2021 Paramount and Comcast announced the joint venture, which would combine the individual programming each company had already in place. It was felt that the combined programming offered a more attractive and diverse content line-up for prospective European subscribers in order to compete more effectively with the previously launched Prime Video and Disney+ streaming services that were already operating successfully on the European continent. [17][18] Initially Paramount+ had intended to go it alone, but lack of proprietary content was something that had already crippled Paramount+'s predecessor CBS All Access previously, preventing it from achieving anywhere near the subscription numbers its then CBS President Les Moonves had promised the shareholders and third-party investors. This disappointing situation was not quite remedied by the 2019 reunification of Viacom and the CBS Corporation when the motion picture backlog libraries of the two formerly independent conglomerates were combined into one catalog for the by then to Paramount+ renamed streaming service.

It was agreed upon that Paramount would bring the productions/contents of Paramount+, Paramount Pictures, Showtime and Nickelodeon to the table, whereas Comcast would do the same with their NBCUniversal (which includes Universal Studios), Sky, DreamWorks, and Peacock properties

On 20 September 2022 the new streaming service launched in the four mainland Scandinavian countries – who had already been served by a prior video-on-demand (VoD) iteration of Paramount+ since 1 October 2017 [19] – bolstered by locally-produced content. Portugal and the Netherlands followed suit on 25 October 2022, with the rest of the planned initial rollout in Spain and the fifteen Central/Eastern European countries occurring in the first quarter of 2023. [20]

SkyShowtime was launched on 14 February 2023 in Albania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, and included the first season of Strange New Worlds among its contents, as expected. [21][22] The remaining two countries slated for the inaugural introduction, Spain and Andorra, followed suit two weeks later on 28 February, featuring the same content, but like the Nordics version addended with locally-produced content. [23]

SkyShowtime replaced Paramount+ in a few European countries where that service or one of its derivatives had in effect already launched the preceding year, and which concerned Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Hungary, and Poland (but not Russia – see: footnote[1]). [24]

As the conglomerate has done anywhere else in the world with Paramount+ and as had already been foretold by its president Bob Bakish on 7 December 2021, [25] it is expected that SkyShowtime will eventually become the exclusive streamer of all Star Trek television and film productions in those markets where it is operating, and will pull all of these from all the other remaining (local) outlets that had hitherto offered the productions once their (pre-negotiated) streaming/broadcast right time-spans have expired. For the Netherlands for example, this entailed Netflix, Prime Video, and even the local conglomerate-owned Paramount Network broadcaster eventually. When launched in October 2022, the Dutch version of the new streamer had included in their startup content line-up the last four Star Trek films[2], Star Trek: The Next Generation - Remastered (these two subsequently pulled from Dutch Netflix, already beginning in July 2022 [26]), Star Trek: Prodigy[3] as well as Strange New Worlds, [27] the latter of which actually becoming the very first time that that series could be watched legally in the country. It was in effect the very reason why Strange New Worlds co-stars Rebecca Romijn (who has a Dutch father, incidentally) and Ethan Peck attended the official 4 November streamer launch event in capital city Amsterdam during a red carpet affair. [28][4]

Remarkably, not included in the streamer's inaugural library was Discovery, meaning that its elusive fourth season remained unavailable for official and legal watching in those countries where SkyShowtime was launched. This intentional omission appeared to have been a conscious decision by SkyShowtime itself. [29][5] This, incidentally, did not apply for those European countries where Paramount+ had been launched a few months earlier that year (but months after the fourth season had already premiered in North America) under its own name, most conspicuously the UK, and where Discovery was a part of the library[6]. [30]

On "Star Trek Day", 8 September 2023, Star Trek: The Original Series and the first season of Star Trek: Short Treks were added to SkyShowtime in Poland. [31] These two were shortly thereafter that month added to SkyShowtime Netherlands as well, on top of the first two seasons of Star Trek: Enterprise which were soon followed by the other two. Discovery was at long last added to SkyShowtime's European catalog on 8 March 2024 starting with the three seasons that were pulled from Netflix, followed by the elusive fourth season on 22 March. The service started streaming Discovery's fifth season on 5 April 2024. [32][33][34]

By this time all other Star Trek productions had become available for streaming on SkyShowtime, excepting Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Lower Decks, which were still the streaming purview of competitor Prime Video, and Star Trek: The Animated Series, available on Netflix. Contrary to mother streaming service Paramount+ though, SkyShowtime continued to maintain the first season of Star Trek: Prodigy, which the conglomerate overlords themselves had excised from the Star Trek franchise the year previously, in their "Kids" section.

Footnotes[]

  1. As of 2023, a launch – or more accurately a replacement – of/by the new streamer is not foreseen for the other (major) European territories where Paramount+ had already been operating under its own name. A need was in essence not perceived as a simultaneous, slightly more limited joint venture had been announced in August 2021 with Comcast to have Paramount+ housed under their British Sky Group Ltd. subsidiary umbrellas, launching a few months before SkyShowtime did. [1] These countries included those of the British Isles (22 June 2022 [2]) and Italy (15 September 2022), with the German speaking countries set to follow later in the year on 8 December 2022. The same applied to Francophone Europe a short while later in February 2022, when a joint venture was announced with Canal+ for a likewise later 1 December 2022 launch. [3]
    Glaring exceptions to SkyShowtime's planned rollout, concern the three Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and Russia, where similar but much more limited arrangements were already in place since December 2021, [4] and June 2020 respectively. [5] Russia incidentally, was intentionally excluded from the rollout because that nation had international sanctions levied against it for its part in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The four initial Scandinavian and two Eastern European (where, like in Russia, a prior VoD iteration of Paramount+ had been put in place since October 2018 [6][7]) countries, with prior and likewise arrangements, became fortunate in this respect. Other European countries which are not covered (or planned to become so) by either SkyShowtime or Paramount+ for the foreseeable future, are among others Belarus (as staunch ally, excluded for the very same reasons as Russia), Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, and Ukraine.
    Oddly enough, Belgium (though small, still harboring a significant number of potential subscribers) had not been included either, despite that country's bilingual nature besides being one of the most affluent EU member states as well as being the very heart of the EU, meaning it could have very well coached along with the services launched in its neighbors, the Netherlands and France, [8] just like Sky Deutschland ("Germany") does for neighboring multilingual Switzerland and Luxembourg, besides unilingual Austria and Liechtenstein alone. Still, in December 2023 the situation was for the Dutch speaking part of Belgium at least – Francophone Belgium remained devoid of Paramount+ coverage for the time being, as the December 2022 French Canal+ deal did not cover that part of Europe – rectified at last, when local streaming service Streamz signed a joint venture agreement with Paramount+, [9] similar to the ones Sky Group Ltd. and Canal+ had entered into previously for other European territories. Greece was set to follow suit in 2024 through a likewise deal with local streamer Cosmote TV. [10]
  2. The remainder of the films have followed suit on 31 December 2022. [11]
  3. Star Trek Prodigy title card, SkyShowtime (Netherlands)

    Dutch SkyShowtime Prodigy title card, still available for streaming pursuant its formal removal from the franchise

    Without any forewarning whatsoever, Prodigy was on 23 June 2023 completely unexpectedly cancelled and three days later withdrawn from the franchise resulting in its deletion from all conglomerate-owned streaming platforms and broadcasters (i.e. Nickelodeon), save one; the series' first season remained available for streaming in its entirety on SkyShowtime which constituted a deviation in the policies Paramount had decided upon. [12] It has either been overlooked by Paramount (in itself suggestive of a post-haste/ad-hoc nature of the cancellation decision) or the exception is indicative of a large autonomy of the service's management – which they had in effect already demonstrated with their unilateral refusal to have Discovery become part of the service's inaugural catalog. In those European territories where Paramount+ was operating under its own name, such as the British Isles, Prodigy was indeed removed from its catalogs on 26 June.
  4. One month later, on 8 December 2022, co-starring colleague Anson Mount did likewise for the Paramount+ launch in German-speaking Europe when he attended the Berlin launch event. [13]
  5. For those fans who liked the show however, the issue became moot very shortly thereafter when the fourth season Blu-ray and DVD home video formats were released in early December 2022.
  6. UK fans, though, had been able to watch the fourth season from its very start through Pluto TV, [14][15] as that service had already been available in the country since 1 October 2018. [16]

External links[]

Advertisement