Bell sends Canadian Star Trek fans into darkness

Company beats Netflix on rights to new show but won’t reveal when it will stream on CraveTV.

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Bell Star Trek:

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If you’re Canadian and you like gadgets and techie stuff, you’re probably used to the term “not in Canada” by now. Hulu, Google Fiber, just about everything cool from Amazon… the list of things not available in the Great White North goes on and on.

It’s gotten to the point where we half expect to wait a few years for cool new innovations to reach us, if at all. Lord knows our local companies aren’t producing them in any noticeable quantity – BlackBerrys don’t count anymore, right?

It’s rare, then, that Canadians suffer a particularly painful gut punch in regards to things they can’t have, but it looks like that’s what they’re getting with the new Star Trek television series.

Netflix on Monday announced it will stream episodes of the upcoming show, which will begin airing in January, in 188 countries within 24 hours of their U.S. broadcast. There are two notable exceptions on Netflix’s list of countries: Canada and the United States.

The United States is exempted because CBS, the network/studio producing the series, is reserving the new Star Trek for its own CBS All Access streaming service, which costs $5.99 (U.S.) a month.

That leaves Canada, where Netflix was outbid on Star Trek by a free-spending Bell. The telecom company plans to air the show’s debut on CTV at the same time as CBS, and then squirrel the remainder of the episodes away on Space, which is a premium cable channel in case you were wondering.

As for streaming, the good news is that Bell says it plans to add the new show to its CraveTV service. The bad news is, the only timeline being mentioned on that front is “later.” When asked to expand on the press release’s wording, a Bell spokesperson said only that, “CraveTV windowing will be announced later.”

Bell could surprise everyone and eventually announce that it, too, will stream new episodes via CraveTV in a timely fashion, but don’t count on it. The company is still clearly thinking TV first, and streaming for Bell… is an afterthought at best:

Bell purchased the rights to HBO’s new content – including Game of Thrones – last year but has so far decided against adding any of it to CraveTV. Instead, the company is airing season one of Game of Thrones on CTV this August – season six just concluded – and continues to withhold it from streaming services without a cable subscription.

That’s making cord cutters mad, and providing fans with little reason to hope that the new Star Trek will end up on CraveTV within the same quick turnaround as Netflix and CBS.

If that indeed turns out to be the case, it would effectively make Canada the only country in the world where new Star Trek episodes wouldn’t be available to stream within a day of their TV broadcast. And if that happens, you can sure as heck bet that pirates are going to be all over it:

The ironic kicker to all this? The new Star Trek show is being shot in Toronto.

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6 Comments on Bell sends Canadian Star Trek fans into darkness

  1. CTV and Space both offer free streaming of their shows so not sure what the issue is, in fact as Canada will be the only country with free streaming seems to out us in the vest position.

    • Peter Nowak // July 19, 2016 at 4:55 pm // Reply

      Space streams a few select shows for free, but given that Bell just outspent Netflix for Star Trek, it’s very doubtful they’re going to give it away in any way, shape or form.

  2. CTV only offer free streaming of their shows if you are a Bell subscriber already and paying through the nose for their TV service.

  3. Ah yes, that particular Canadian malaise. We’re so undeserving. May I have less for more? :p

  4. Just checked to confirm and CTV allows free streaming. Limited episode count per show but it is the the only country that has not announced Star Trek as being exclusive to a paid streaming service. Hate Bell all you want this is shaping up to be a win for Canadians.

    • Peter Nowak // July 21, 2016 at 11:30 am // Reply

      CTV is only airing the premiere episode, after which it’s on Space. As I mentioned in the comment above, Space streams only a few, less popular shows, so it’s unlikely Star Trek will be included, especially given the huge money Bell likely paid for it.

      Despite that, where are you seeing these full episodes streaming? I can’t find streams of any comparable shows, such as Arrow or Agents of SHIELD. There are streams of Master Chef and eTalk, but that’s not quite the same thing, is it?

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