Starz is getting ready to launch its new, Michael Bay-produced pirate series Black Sails this month. However, in keeping with the recent trend of cable channels premiering shows online, Starz has teamed up with Machinima to broadcast the show on YouTube on January 18th, a full week before it lands on TV.

Cable is coming online

The show takes place 20 years prior to Treasure Island, and follows pirate Captain Flint, played by former Bond villain Toby Stephens, as he defends his crew on New Providence Island. The show comes only months after the release of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, though it does look to be bloodier and more explosion-heavy — all in true Michael Bay fashion.

Black Sails is only the most recent series a network has promised to share via online channels. The FX series Chozen, which premieres tonight, saw an early launch on Xbox One last week. Meanwhile, the third season of Girls is currently on HBO's YouTube channel, having aired last night during the Golden Globes.

Update: Starz reached out to state that the first episode of Black Sails will also premiere on iTunes Podcasts, Amazon Instant Video, Maxim's website and Xbox Live app, and Xbox Video, with added content like featurettes, trailers, and video.