"Star Trek" Leaving Amazon Prime

Cast Photo of Original Series
Promotional photo from Star Trek: The Original Series. Paramount Television

Right now is a great time for Star Trek fans who subscribe to Netflix and/or Amazon Prime. Both services have been hosting all the Trek TV series and movies, which allows new fans to catch up on the past, and old fans to binge on their favorite shows. But all that is about to change in February, and it could mean big changes for Star Trek on streaming video for the near future.

In 2015, Netflix and Amazon Prime had all the TV series of the Star Trek franchise from old favorites like the classic Original Series, all the way to the recent Star Trek: Enterprise.

They even hosted the rarely seen Star Trek: The Animated Series. Both services also had most of the Trek movies, including Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. They even had the new movies, Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. It was a great time to be a streaming subscriber.

That began to change in late 2015 when Star Trek Into Darkness was removed from Netflix in September, and later Amazon Prime. And now Trekcore is reporting that all the Star Trek movies and TV shows except the Animated Series will be removed from Amazon Prime on February 15th. While Amazon Prime is a relatively small streaming service, it is a major player in the field. That's why some fans have expressed concern that Netflix will be removing all of Star Trek from its library soon as well.

But why would Amazon Prime and Netflix be losing such a popular franchise? The answer lies with CBS.

CBS owns the television rights to Star Trek, and has its own streaming service called CBS All-Access. CBS All-Access provides unlimited streaming of a variety of CBS TV shows from the past and present like CSI: Miami or MacGyver. It also streams live CBS television, and all of the six previous Star Trek TV series, from the original series to Enterprise.

CBS All Access is available on CBS.com, in apps for Android, iOS, Android and Windows 10, and other connected devices like Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, and Roku players.

Much like Netflix, CBS All Access is only available for a subscription fee. But unlike Netflix, CBS All Access only features shows from its library. While that includes some popular shows, its catalogue pales in comparison to Netflix and even Amazon Prime. It's a tough sell. How can CBS get people to pay for the slim pickings of CBS All Access, especially at roughly the same price as a monthly subscription to Netflix? The solution to that seems to be Star Trek.

Trekcore has speculated that CBS plans to pull all Star Trek series from competing streaming services and put them exclusively on CBS All Access. When CBS announced the new Star Trek TV series last year would only be released on CBS All Access in 2017, many speculated this move would come. It made sense that the new series would serve as the show which would drive subscribers to the service, and having all the other Trek shows available would make All Access even more attractive.

While this would make binging on Star Trek much harder (unless you don't mind paying for CBS All Access, and another streaming service), the bright side is this is all speculation at this point.

None of Star Trek is slated to leave Netflix in February. In fact, Netflix is gaining Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, which had previously been missing from its library. We don't know what the future holds, but hopefully it still holds Star Trek.

UPDATE 2/18/16: As of now, all Star Trek has been restored to Amazon Prime. We'll keep watching to see where the streaming business is headed.

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Mitchell, Nigel. ""Star Trek" Leaving Amazon Prime." ThoughtCo, Feb. 21, 2016, thoughtco.com/star-trek-leaving-amazon-prime-3125854. Mitchell, Nigel. (2016, February 21). "Star Trek" Leaving Amazon Prime. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/star-trek-leaving-amazon-prime-3125854 Mitchell, Nigel. ""Star Trek" Leaving Amazon Prime." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/star-trek-leaving-amazon-prime-3125854 (accessed November 18, 2017).