CW Looking For Other Partners After Deal With Netflix Expires

Warner Bros. partnered with CBS to launch CW in 2006, upon the expiration of an affiliation deal with Tribune to carry the lightly watched WB Network.

This would be a bold move for the fifth place network which averages just a mere 1.92m viewers a night.

The companies are working to create a standalone streaming service for the CW, which they own jointly, according to Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw.

It’s entirely possible that reports and negotiations push Tribune, CBS and Warner keep The CW exactly as is, though many argue that at least some form of subscription service will prove inevitable.

One key factor that the network has in its favor is that the number of viewers who don’t pay for cable or satellite TV continues to rise. CBS also has CBS All Access and Time Warner has HBO Now.

The network already gives fans access to a handful of shows and originals on CW Seed, a digital entertainment offshoot The CW launched three years ago. The CW would reportedly follow in the footsteps of CBS by offering a monthly subscription reportedly in the $2 to $4 range. Netflix said its accord with CW will also run out soon.

It’s unclear at this point as to how much of the talk centers around building leverage for ongoing talks with Tribune Media, which operates affiliate stations for 13 of the CW’s biggest markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.


Hulu didn’t respond to a request for comment. Netflix offers past seasons of CW programs while Hulu, owned by 21st Century Fox Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp., has episodes of current seasons while they are on the air. The network on Sunday won its second Golden Globe Award in as many years, as Rachel Bloom was awarded best actress in a TV comedy for her performance in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

CEO Reed Hastings

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