What's new in April on Prime Video, CTV Comedy, and more.
Since its origins as a primetime drama starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy airing during from 1966 to 1969, Star Trek has become a worldwide phenomenon spanning multiple movies, TV series, and other media.
A new generation of Star Trek TV series, commissioned by the CBS All Access streaming service (rebranded in March 2021 as Paramount+), began with the 2017 launch of Star Trek: Discovery, with other programs launching since then including Picard, Short Treks, and Lower Decks, with more in the pipeline.
Current series: As of August 2020, all in-production Star Trek TV series – including Star Trek: Discovery; Star Trek: Short Treks; Star Trek: Picard; and animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks – air in Canada on Bell Media's CTV Sci-Fi Channel (formerly Space), with new episodes posted the same day as their U.S. release. Subscribers to that basic cable channel can also access episodes on-demand and through the CTV app for a limited time after airing. The same new episodes are also made available on Bell's Crave streaming service either the same day or the day after (new episodes of Discovery are currently posted 24 hours after they air on CTV Sci-Fi).
If you are a cord-cutter, the most straightforward way to access these programs would be to subscribe to Crave's base package, which is $9.99 per month (plus applicable sales taxes), with a free trial of at least 7 days for first-time subscribers. You do not need Crave's more expensive Movies + HBO or Starz tiers to access these series.
Classic series: Episodes of classic Star Trek series – including the original series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise – are available in Canada on both Crave and Netflix, in addition to regular airings on CTV Sci-Fi.
Future series: We anticipate that, since it's a spinoff of Discovery, CTV Sci-Fi and Crave will have first right of refusal on the forthcoming Star Trek: Brave New Worlds in Canada. But we wouldn't be shocked if it ended up on another service.
As for the animated series Star Trek: Prodigy, which was initially developed for ViacomCBS' kids network Nickelodeon, we think it's most likely that the Canadian rights to that series will land with Corus Entertainment, owner of YTV and Nickelodeon Canada.
Movies: Films from both the original film series (with Shatner, Nimoy, and/or Patrick Stewart) and the "Kelvin Timeline" series (starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto) have been available at various points on either Netflix and/or Prime Video. However, at present, there is no consistent subscription streaming home for these movies in Canada.
As of February 2021, both Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and Star Trek: Beyond (2016) are currently available for member streaming on Prime Video (which seems to rotate every few months between the Kelvin Timeline films), and we have not been able to find any of the films are on Netflix, Crave, or any other similar services – though this may change from time to time.
Of course, it is possible to rent or buy digital copies of any of these movies for a separate fee, through a number of different marketplaces – including the Apple TV / iTunes Store, Google Play TV & Movies, cable on-demand services, and even the aforementioned Prime Video.
I heard some of the new shows were also on CBS All Access / Paramount+, or Netflix, or Prime Video?
While Paramount+ (known prior to 2021 as CBS All Access) is also available in Canada, it did not launch here until after Discovery had debuted. By that point, CBS had already reached international rights deals for the series with Bell Media and others, and to date it has decided to maintain that pattern for subsequent spinoffs.
As a result – although the Star Trek franchise and all of the series are owned by ViacomCBS – due to the terms of those rights sales, Canadians cannot currently access any Star Trek series on the Canadian version of Paramount+. This might change eventually, but it's unlikely to change before Discovery ends its run at the very earliest.
Netflix and Amazon Prime Video came on as international co-producers for Discovery and Picard, respectively, which means that they distribute each series in all countries outside the U.S. and Canada. At this time, we have no reason to expect that they will rerun the series at a future date in Canada (or the U.S. for that matter).