The Stargate franchise’s official streaming platform “Stargate Command” is closing up shop at the end of this year, GateWorld has learned — including the closure of MGM’s official Stargate Web site at StargateCommand.co.
Instead, MGM will refocus its online efforts for the science fiction franchise in the space with the biggest worldwide audience: YouTube.
Starting today the studio will begin migrating the Web site’s original video content to the Stargate Command YouTube channel, MGM representatives told GateWorld. That will eventually include content previously locked behind the subscription paywall. The YouTube channel currently has 75,000 subscribers — sure to grow now that this will be the home of Stargate Command’s content.
That starts with a new piece from the archives of Stargate history (available now), with Stargate SG-1 executive producer Brad Wright talking about the show’s fans during its ninth season (which filmed in 2005). It also includes the behind-the-scenes interview series “Dialing Home” and other special features — but not, of course, the movies or 17 seasons of the three Stargate television shows.
With the “All-Access Pass” video content now going wide to the world, the StargateCommand.co Web site will continue to operate for visitors and subscribers until December 31 (12 p.m. Pacific Time). The Stargate Command app will also be deprecated and will no longer provide access to content at that time.
“It’s important to us that Stargate content reaches fans everywhere and we believe YouTube is the right place to help us achieve that goal,” the Stargate Command team says.
The silver lining here is that more Stargate fans around the world will now have access to Stargate Command’s original features. MGM confirmed to GateWorld that the video content on YouTube “will be available to a wider global footprint” — though they stopped short of promising that there will be no regional geo-blocking whatsoever on any of the content. (Stargate Command’s paid subscription package has been restricted to the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.)
MGM says that StargateCommand.co members will receive a letter today detailing the strategy change, accompanied by an updated FAQ page on the site. All-Access Pass customers whose subscription does not expire until 2020 will get a full refund.
Merchandise, meanwhile, has gone on sale with a steep, 50 percent discount for most items. Reps from MGM could not confirm at this time whether or not these items might be restocked once they sell out.
Stargate Command launched in September of 2017 in the wake of the announcement that MGM was producing Stargate Origins, a 10-part Web series that would live exclusively on the platform. Origins premiered in early 2018. An iOS and Android mobile app also gave subscribers access to the entire catalog of Stargate films and TV series.
The site was relaunched in May of this year with a new visual interface, a faction system, and a new back-end infrastructure.
MGM is mum on the reasons for the change in its online strategy for Stargate. Hosting its video content on YouTube certainly has the advantage of being more cost-effective than running its own over-the-top streaming service. And it also provides a more visible point of access for YouTube’s 2 billion monthly users, which includes 73 percent of all U.S. households.
That certainly includes folks who watched Stargate on TV, but never visited the shows’ official Web site.
The studio is also not commenting on the status of potential new productions to extend the Stargate franchise in the future. But the letter to fans does reaffirm MGM’s commitment to the franchise:
Stargate fans truly are the best fans and we’re excited to continue connecting with you on the channels and via the communities you love. With your continued support, we plan to grow this timeless franchise in the years ahead.
We’ll keep our ears to the ground and report additional news on the future of Stargate, and its official online presence, as it breaks.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Here’s a quick summary of the changes in store for fans:
- Stargate Command’s original video content (that excludes the shows and movies themselves) will migrate to YouTube, beginning today.
- This includes “Dialing Home,” the cast and crew interview series hosted by Christopher Judge and David Read.
- It also includes the newer “Recon” series (shorter, informal interviews with cast and crew), the fast-paced quiz videos “Brain Storm,” and other video content produced by the Stargate Command team.
- “Dialing Home” and “Recon” (previously limited to All-Access Pass holders) will be on YouTube starting in 2020.
- There is additional material that has been filmed but not yet released (including the announced second season of “Dialing Home” and a new series touring Stargate filming locations), which hopefully will see release on YouTube eventually.
- Members at StargateCommand.co who have been enjoying the site’s various quizzes and polls will see these sorts of interactive goodies show up on the studio’s social media channels, including Twitter and Facebook.
- The three films, 10 seasons of Stargate SG-1, five seasons of Stargate Atlantis, two seasons of Stargate Universe, and Stargate Origins: Catherine will no longer be available direct from MGM and Stargate Command. (Most of these are available on other streaming platforms, which varies month to month and country to country. Check our regularly updated Where To Watch tracker for availability in the United States.)
- Articles, quizzes, polls, and accrued user points on the Web site will go offline.
- Digital comics from American Mythology and e-books from Fandemonium, which were added in May, will also no longer be available directly from MGM.
- The Stargate Command app will more or less cease to function on your mobile device from December 31. It won’t be able to access Web content or stream video.
- You won’t be able to watch Stargate through MGM’s dedicated service, and will have to get your fix from DVDs, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.
- “Stargate Command” as a moniker for the studio’s online presence will live on through social media, and have its home on YouTube. As you might imagine, with that will come a new focus on producing video content.
- Content that was previously paywalled and limited to certain countries is going to be available to fans around the world. And it will be free.