CBS All Access Is Totally Winning

By Karen Fratti 

star_trek_tv_still_-h_2015The Internet went a little wild went it was announced that CBS would be rebooting Star Trek as a television show. But it’s not being added to their primetime lineup. You can watch it on their streaming platform, CBS All Access. It’s a killer move, though some who haven’t yet come to the streaming side wish it was going to be on “real TV.” CBS is sort of a trendsetter by remaking Star Trek and throwing it into their streaming catalog immediately.

It’s not the same thing as going straight to VHS, really. CBS’s streaming platform is the best of all the networks. For $5.99 a month, if you don’t have a cable subscription and live in one of the 110 markets, you can stream live CBS all day. You can have the news, bad sick-day daytime television and Stephen Colbert, just like a regular cable customer. One exception is NFL football, which is blacked out on their streaming service due to rights issues — sports are always an issue.

wingsSo maybe the CBS catalog isn’t as sexy as say, HBO’s, but in addition to all of their current shows they have a back catalog of  ‘classic’ shows like Beverly Hills: 90210, Melrose Place, old Star Treks, Twin Peaks, The Twilight Zone. Bad nineties sitcoms like Wings and Caroline in the City. Perry Mason, I Love Lucy, and MacGyver. Who doesn’t want to watch Wings?  The selection, really, is not much more interesting than Netflix or Amazon. But by slowly building a catalog, it makes adding yet another streaming service to your stash a solid possibility.

As does the fact they are dipping their toes in the water of original content. ABC, which allows cable subscribers to authenticate and watch live television plus their own catalog of current programming, has some “Digital Originals,” comprised of mainly extra content connected to shows. CBS is the first to really go all in, something Les Moonves promised when launching All Access earlier this year. Sure, Star Trek is a little niche, but that’s how you get people in the door. Especially if it ends up being good. In the meantime, for cord cutters, this is good news. It’s not perfect. But if networks want to stay ahead of the game, CBS is certainly leading by example.