Of course it is … but now there are some numbers.
Star Trek: Discovery is on the verge of cracking Pirate Bay’s Top 10 most illegally downloaded shows in less than 24 hours.
The Discovery pilot is currently at No. 11 on the list (apparently at No. 15 just a few hours ago), the pilot is up there with the likes of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty and, for some reason, TNT’s The Last Ship. The show’s second episode is at No. 17, which is a tad surprising as that was the one that wasn’t free.
CBS rolled out the first episode of Discovery in a special preview telecast on its broadcast network Sunday night and racked up nearly 10 million viewers, then made the show’s second episode — and all the rest to come — available exclusively on CBS All Access streaming service for $6 a month.
Ever since the distribution plan was first announced fans have resisted with some vehemence the idea of paying for “yet another streaming service just to watch a single show” (there’s more than one show on All Access, CBS is quick to point out, and then a debate over the relative merits of NCIS and MacGyver repeats ensues).
Math-wise, however, the company’s pitch is not a terrible one. When you pay iTunes or Amazon to watch an old episode of some random TV show, the service charges $2-3 for an individual episode. All Access is $6 a month; figure there’s four Discovery episodes a month … it’s a price within the current market boundaries for watching a fancy premium TV series that you want to see. Of course, All Access still has commercials, and it’s admittedly a bit annoying to pay to watch ads (the same can be said about Hulu).
At any rate, the Pirate Bay numbers are likely the tip of the, er, pirate-berg as a study on Game of Thrones downloads last month found that most illegal viewing comes from illicit streaming sites nowadays instead of torrents — a new frontier for piracy, and surely not the final one.
Discovery also made news Monday with a photo of several of the show’s stars taking a knee in solidarity with protesting NFL players. For more on Discovery, check out our post-premiere interview with the show’s executive producer Alex Kurtzman breaking down the first two episodes, our critic’s review and our recap.