Just a few days before Star Trek: Discovery was set to begin its fourth season last week, ViacomCBS managed to do something impossible: basically unite Star Trek fans to agree on one thing. Unfortunately for them, that thing was agreeing that ViacomCBS sucked, for shockingly pulling Discovery in its entirety from international broadcast with no sign of its return. That’s about to change though.
Tremendous backlash from Star Trek’s international fanbase erupted last week for the surprise termination of the deal—which yanked all three of Discovery’s seasons from Netflix, which had distributed the show in 190 countries outside of the U.S. and Canada since it began in 2017. But it also meant that audiences expecting the season four premiere on November 18 were suddenly being told that they had to wait for the wider international release of Paramount+ in 2022. The streamer was planning to roll out to just a fraction of those countries, 45 in total, for a series that fans had, for almost four years, watched in tandem with U.S. and Canadian audiences. But now, ViacomCBS has decided that the backlash wasn’t worth making people wait to subscribe to yet another new streaming service.
“To all of the international Star Trek: Discovery fans: we hear you. We love this series too,” a new statement released on the Star Trek official website and the franchise’s official social media channels this morning. “We love it for the incredible cast, the hardworking crew, the imaginative storytelling, the groundbreaking, diverse characters who bring the show to life and what it represents to so many people around the world. Star Trek has always put its fans first. We want to do the same.”
However, that plan isn’t as simple as, say, the series continuing to release on Netflix. Starting with countries that have already begun rollout of Paramount+ outside the U.S.— Australia, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Sweden, Uruguay, and Venezuela—the first two episodes of Discovery season four will release this Friday, November 26, a day after episode two releases in the U.S. and Canada.
Across Europe in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK, episodes will be released at 9:00 p.m. local time through the free streaming platform Pluto TV—which is owned by ViacomCBS—“each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,” with simulcast releases airing on the dedicated Star Trek channel for Pluto in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. Several of those markets and more—including the UK, Germany, France, Russia, South Korea—will also be able to purchase new episodes of Discovery on select digital platforms, beginning on November 26.
It’s not an ideal situation, of course—especially now that for some fans the choice will be to either watch Discovery on a new service or cough up for individual episodes at a time. But it’s better than having to dodge spoilers for the next few months and even longer as Paramount+ continues its global rollout. “We too are super fans of Star Trek and incredibly proud of Discovery,” ViacomCBS’s statement concludes. “We promise to give this franchise and its loyal fans all the global love and visibility it deserves in our expanding universe on Paramount+.”
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