When Disney acquired Star Wars by buying Lucasfilm in 2012, many Star Trek fans feared their favorite franchise was next. The idea of Star Trek and Star Wars being owned by the same company, probably resulting in the creation of crossovers, still scares many Trekkies. However, Star Trek has remained out of Disney’s reach despite its increased financial power, and many Trekkies still wonder why.
Who owns Star Trek?
CBS and Paramount jointly own the production and distribution rights for Star Trek. The franchise has been a victim of corporate mergers and takeovers since its creation by Gene Roddenberry in 1966. Paramount Pictures owns the picture and movie rights, while CBS owns the TV rights.
Most of the franchise’s problems started when Viacom bought Paramount Pictures from CBS in 1994, essentially splitting the ownership rights for Star Trek between the two companies. Viacom eventually acquired CBS in 2000, but the two remained separate companies, which eventually split again in 2006. However, in 2019, the two remerged again to form ViacomCBS, later renamed Paramount Global.
The merger brought all the rights for Star Trek back under one roof, allowing all of Star Trek‘s movies and TV shows to stream on Paramount+. The production of the franchise’s movies, TV shows, and animation is also managed by the same company now, which is better for its future.
Will Disney ever own Star Trek?
Despite speculation, there has been no report of the Walt Disney Company ever showing interest in the Star Trek franchise. Star Trek is also one of (if not the most) profitable franchises for CBS, and they are not likely to give it up any time soon.
Star Trek may also not be as attractive a brand to Disney as it is to CBS because of the nature of its fan base. Star Trek is more attractive as a TV brand, especially because its older fans don’t enjoy most Disney franchises and platforms as much as Star Wars and MCU fans do.
The merger of CBS All Access and Paramount into one major streaming platform also increases the demand for better content from Paramount Global. Therefore, Star Trek is a more attractive brand for Paramount than Disney, which already has its fair share of well-performing brands such as Star Wars and MCU.
It is also important to note that Paramount Global is a subsidiary of National Amusements, a major competitor to the Walt Disney Company. The rivalry between the two entertainment giants makes it almost impossible for Star Trek to ever become a Disney property unless a major takeover happens.