CBS explores the digital frontier with ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ – Los Angeles Times

When CBS Corp. launched a stand-alone streaming service three years ago, some analysts wondered why consumers would spend nearly $6 a month to watch a TV channel that they could get over the air for free.

CBS soon will answer that question by making its big-budget bet, “Star Trek: Discovery,” available exclusively on its CBS All Access streaming service. The pilot episode will air on the CBS broadcast network Sunday night but after that, fans must sign up for the streaming service to see subsequent episodes.

CBS is, to borrow a Trekkie phrase, boldly going where no broadcast network has gone before by placing one of its highest profile and most expensive programs on a digital platform that reaches just a fraction of the network’s audience. The gambit illustrates just how quickly the rules of television are shifting. If the experiment works, CBS could be at the forefront of a new trend, particularly as Walt Disney Co. and others create their own streaming services to capture viewers who have been turning away from linear television in favor of Netflix and Amazon.

“The changes are happening so rapidly,” CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves said Friday. “Streaming is going to be a big part of our future — and the future of television — and it is important to have premium content.”


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