Star Trek Discovery the Most Pirated TV Show in Canada

Okay so if you read that headline... "Star Trek Discovery the Most Pirated TV Show in Canada" that was actually me making a prediction. It is not currently a fact, not to my knowledge.

The reason why I am making this prediction is because last night my wife and I visited my mother-in-law and we watched the first two episodes of Star Trek Discovery on the Space network. My wife and I don't have that channel at our place so whenever we want to watch Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Westworld, etc - it is during our weekly Sunday visits to my mother-in-law's place.

Which is great for multiple reasons.

#1. My mother-in-law is really nice.
#2. She is a great cook.
#3. It allows my wife and I to relax a bit as we bring our son with us and "Grandma" gets to see her favourite grandson.

Also before we get to why I think it will be pirated so much lets first talk about my impressions of this new Star Trek television series.

  • It felt like we were watching a movie. Except with commercials. Stupid annoying commercials.
  • The level of quality is what you would likewise expect from Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.
  • Why do the Klingons in this version of Star Trek look so different from all previous versions? I assume they are going to explain that somehow in the future (genetic manipulation???). While it is clear they have a bigger budget for makeup, this is a huge difference in Klingon appearance and I have to wonder if genetic manipulation is going to be a major part of the plot.
  • I cannot wait to see the third episode. Oh wait, I cannot... see further below.
  • Stellar cast. No complaints.
  • The people who do complain about the "racial diversity" of the cast are clearly not familiar with the history of Star Trek, wherein a black woman and a Japanese man were major cast members of The Original Series (Star Trek: TOS). See the image on the right to see what I talking about.
  • I really find that one alien guy with the weird head annoying. Lt. Saru, shown below.
I really hope Lt. Saru dies eventually. He annoys me so much. He is like Joffrey or Ramsay Bolton.
Okay so let me outline why I think Star Trek Discovery will be so pirated, specifically in Canada.

  1. ABC All Access is not available in Canada.
  2. The first two debut episodes were watched by 9.6 million people in North America. That is HUGE for a new TV show.
  3. The Space network is only showing the first two episodes of Star Trek Discovery. If Canadians want to watch more then they need to get Crave TV. That is the only source of Star Trek Discovery.
  4. Crave TV is this horrible thing in Canada that is only available from Bell. If you use Rogers, Cogeco, or any other cable provider - you cannot get Crave TV.
  5. Netflix International did make a deal to have Star Trek Discovery, but only in countries like the UK and Australia. Netflix Canada is not getting Star Trek Discovery at all.
  6. People who live in rural places in Canada cannot even get cable, let alone Bell cable. So they cannot get Crave TV, ergo they cannot get Star Trek Discovery.

Basically what it comes down to is that most Canadians don't even have Crave TV, cannot even get Crave TV, or have zero interest in paying for Crave TV.

Which means that the only way they can watch future episodes of Star Trek Discovery is if they pirate it. Just like many Canadians already do for Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, etc.

I am fortunate enough that I have access to these shows, one day a week. Sometimes more if somehow manage to visit my mother-in-law twice in the same week.

But will I see be able to see the 3rd episode of Star Trek Discovery and other future episodes?

You see there is a problem. While my mother-in-law does have cable, HBO, On Demand, etc... she does not have Crave TV.

And I am not about to convince my wife to get Crave just so we can get one TV show. Nor will I be recommending my mother-in-law to get Crave either.

Crave... frankly sucks. It is horrible. Netflix is so much better.

Six months ago it was rumoured that Bell was planning on scrapping Crave TV. They had sunk a lot of money into it and it was not paying off. Canadians have zero interest in subscribing to Crave when they could just get Netflix instead.

And that is the same thing I expect to happen here. Nobody is going to get Crave TV (largely because many people cannot get Crave TV because they use Rogers, Cogeco, live in the countryside, etc).

If people decide to get any kind of streaming service, they will get Netflix.

So eventually if CBS is smart they will release Star Trek Discovery on Netflix in Canada. And/or release it on a television network that is more broadly available in Canada.

Because if they don't the vast majority of Canadians will just watch a pirated version instead. Which means zero profits for CBS from all those pirated copies floating around on the internet.

Update, October 2017

Okay so apparently CBS has realized their folly in Canada and has decided to release Star Trek Discovery on the "Space" channel in Canada - a premium channel that people get order individually or as part of a larger package deal.

Thus there will still be a fair number of Canadians who do not get that premium channel, but it isn't as bad as before when it was basically not even available in Canada.

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