How CBS Is Holding Star Trek Digitally Hostage

And what this story might mean for higher education.

November 4, 2015

So CBS is going to charge us $5.99 a month to stream the new Star Trek series when it arrives in 2017.

CBS is basically holding Star Trek hostage. Pay the $5.99 ransom or you will never see the Enterprise again.

I don’t know about you, but I have every desire to watch Star Trek - and no desire whatsoever to watching anything else on CBS.

It may be impossible to overstate just how important Star Trek is to the edtech community.

How many of us think of Data every time someone mentions an adaptive learning platform?

How many of us will say “make it so” at the close of a team meeting?

Who amongst us has compared enterprise IT to the Borg?

But who is going to pay for a whole new streaming service just to watch one show?

Or maybe I’m wrong.  Perhaps the 2017 Star Trek will get so much buzz that we will happily shell out the $6 bucks a month to watch.

I’m paying an $8.99 a month ShowTime add on to my Hulu account so that I can watch Showtime (and Homeland). Add to this the $14.99 a month that I pay for HBO Now, and my cord cutting costs are certainly adding up.

The NYTimes seems to be doing well with its digital paywall, reaching the 1 million subscriber threshold this year. 

What are the lessons of Star Trek and CBS All Access streaming for higher ed?

Are we CBS, and is our teaching and research our Star Trek?

Could we find ourselves in a situation where we are trying to connect digitally with our constituents, but instead end up pissing them off?

Have you also given up cable and satellite?

Will you be be paying for CBS All Access to get Star Trek in 2017?



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