Great news, bingeing TV fans — you’ll be able to catch up with The CW’s programming sooner than ever before.
Netflix and The CW have been circling a deal for awhile to work out a streaming solution for The CW’s series, the rights of which were previously held by Hulu. As Chris Cabin reported last month, rumors of the deal have been swirling for awhile, particularly around the fact that The CW (which is owned by Warner Bros and CBS) wanted out of the Hulu deal. One of the major frustrations for viewers with the Hulu situation is that while some current episodes could be viewed on that platform, it took an exceptionally long time to get full seasons on any streaming platform in order to catch up with past seasons.
The biggest news out of the deal is that now, full seasons of The CW’s shows will be available on Netflix starting eight days after their season finales. This will make it easier to catch up with their programming, but also to keep track of what you’ve watched. The new deal will come into effect for the 2016-2017 seasons, but will also include shows that wrapped in the 2015-2016 season (meaning Legends of Tomorrow, The 100, iZombie, and more). Essentially, it mean that if you’re behind on The Flash, Arrow, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, or new shows like Frequency and No Tomorrow (presuming they survive), you can binge them while people are still talking about them, and be ready for the new seasons. In the past, the previous season often wouldn’t arrive on streaming until after the new season had begun.
The language of the agreement says that Netflix will be the exclusive provider of previous seasons of The CW’s scripted series, which I take to mean that a number of current episodes will still be available on The CW’s own streaming platform. But while the deal definitely benefits The CW (as far as not only making the series easier to find and watch, but allowing new fans to catch up), Netflix can also use it as leverage to show why its rate raise, which on the horizon, may be worth it.
Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix, said of the deal,
“Netflix members in the US love the great lineup of series from The CW, and we are thrilled to extend the relationship and bring those shows to our members exclusively now, just eight days after their season finales. This is a great step forward with a valued network partner to give fans exactly what they want, when and how they want it.”
Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW echoed that saying,
“Since the initial landmark deal in 2011, The CW’s programming has enjoyed tremendous success and increased exposure through Netflix, and our new agreement not only continues but enhances this valuable relationship. The CW has positioned itself for the future by transforming into a true hybrid network, rooted in broadcast while fully embracing the digital and streaming habits of the viewers.”
In other news regarding Netflix taking over the world, the streaming giant finally reached an agreement with arch-enemy Comcast, meaning that the Netflix app will now be available on Comcast set-top boxes. This is huge for both sides, showing a new willingness by cable providers to integrate streaming platforms into their equipment, much like how Roku players, Chromecast, and others do now. It’s Netflix’s world, we’re just living in it.