The CW Network has certainly come a long way within the last few years, originally debuting in September of 2006. Bloomberg reveals that the network, owned by CBS and Warner Bros., is looking to expand their company by launching a paid streaming service — and it would only be $2 or $4 a month!
Back in 2011, CW made a four-year deal with Netflix that was nearly worth $1 billion. From that point forward, Netflix offered viewers seasons of various CW shows, including The Flash, Arrow, and Jane the Virgin. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, however, one of the newer shows on the CW Network, doesn’t benefit from repeat viewings on Netflix, although the show is gaining more exposure since its star Rachel Bloom won a Golden Globe for her performance. In addition, the network also made a deal with Hulu, one that would last five years — and of course, episodes will appear on Hulu the day after they air.
The CW is making plenty of moves to re-define what they can do, including renegotiating their affiliate deal with Tribune Media. In 2006, CW inked a 10-year distribution deal with Tribune, which owns various stations that broadcast in over 10 different markets, including Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. The owners of CW-affiliated stations are going to be receiving compensation for letting an internet-based version of CW shows stream in their respective markets. The CW could also get paid more, and since their prime-time audience has decreased by 13 percent in this current television season, this could certainly help. This move into streaming will allow them the opportunity to snatch up the increasing amount of viewers who have done away with satellite or cable television.
Mark Pedowitz, CW president, during the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, stated that 2015 “was another great growth year for The CW and the quality of the shows.” Many of those shows were on those critics’ lists. “We appreciate that you recognize the quality of work that our shows have done,” Pedowitz added.
“The CW has always been: great, watch us on linear, watch us on live plus same day, but just watch us. Our point of view is, if you missed it, come see it on DVR, come see it on digital. Just come see it and talk about it.”
This definitely seems to be their mantra as they look to provide a paid streaming service for their loyal viewers and new viewers. Both live streaming as well as on-demand viewing will be available if this CW streaming service comes to fruition. Since their musical comedy/drama Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is not doing very well in terms of ratings, expanding into a streaming service-model could help bring more viewership for the critically praised series. It’s certainly a show that Pedowitz strongly believes in and does not want to give up on.
“At the moment, I wish I had more optimistic statistics for measurement, but I don’t,” Mark said. “We believe in the show, we stand by the show. … You can’t beat quality like this. The fact that Rachel has been nominated along with Gina is a testament to what they’ve done. I wish the numbers were better. We all wish people had found the show.”
With the influx of superhero television shows like Arrow, Flash, and CW’s upcoming spin-off Legends of Tomorrow, the CW is on its way to guaranteeing success on the streaming service model. The network ranks fifth among broadcast networks and they are currently averaging about 1.9 million total viewers.
[Photo via Katie Yu/ The CW Network, LLC.]