I think it loses the ability to call itself a "TV series" when it refuses to air over a conventional method for getting television into your home... Just sayin'.
How come? Consider the source of the word "television," tele meaning from a distance, and vision being to view something. The show is still being presented to a large audience over a great geographic distance, you're still viewing something remotely from where it's produced. Only the technology behind it has changed, moving from radio frequencies over the air to radio frequencies over a coaxial cable, and now to pulses of light over fiber.
Yes, but the model up until now has mostly been either free (OTA) or paying for an entire service (cable, minus the odd premium channels). This is streaming, which inherently limits the available quality to whatever CBS feels like providing and whatever your available bandwidth can handle; with ATSC OTA there's little reason to made content look worse on purpose, though cable/satellite is a mixed bag (cue up the stories of Comcast squeezing more and more channels into smaller space).
I love Trek, but I hope this flops so CBS will know their service is lame.
In what way is it "lame"? Shows cost money to produce, and that money has to come from somewhere. Consider that a lot of scripted prime time shows cost in the $3-4 million range to produce. You'd need 3-4 million people to chip in a buck to cover the cost of a show, but consider how many shows CBS is running and how many shows people watch. Scorpion, The Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, NCIS and its two spin-offs, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Code Black, CSI and CSI: Cyber, Extant, Limitless, Hawaii Five-O, Madam Secretary, Elementary, The Mentalist, Mom, The Odd Couple, Person of Interest, Stalker, Supergirl, Life in Pieces, Criminal Minds, and the pending Angel from Hell, plus a few more. That's a lot of money, and considering that ads on the web don't snatch nearly the same kind of value as ads from OTA/MSO grab they have to make up the deficit somewhere.
So that's $6/mo to cover the production of more than twenty five different scripted television shows (not to mention the cost of licensing NCAA games, game shows, news programs, and reality shows). Assuming an average run of 25 episodes per season for each show, and a 12 month run, that's 12 per episode that CBS is getting to cover the cost of production of everything, advertising/promotion, and bandwidth for streaming. Even if you only watch three shows, you're paying 96 per episode which is cheaper than the going rate on iTunes, Amazon Prime or Google Play.
The money they make off of television advertising (OTA/cable) is pretty big, IIRC. Also, FWIW, CBS made a profit of $1.4 billion last year... hardly sounds like they're hurting. I guess what I'm getting at is... they appear to be forcing people into a specific service using a name brand they know will get at least some people to bite. You have a loyal fanbase, why potentially ruin that by forcing them on to your platform? To make it so you have to pay for it AND can't skip ads?