May 16, 2019
Future CW Shows Will No Longer Automatically Go to Netflix
As the streaming wars intensify, Netflix is finding itself at the center of everyone’s targets. In addition to losing Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars titles as Disney+ prepares to launch, and NBCUniversal preparing to pull streaming favorites The Office and Friends, Netflix is now losing out on future The CW shows.
The teen-friendly network is ending its CW Netflix deal, which would find CW shows like Arrow, The Flash, Riverdale, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend landing automatically on Netflix soon after a season finished airing. But CW is declining to renew that deal for its future shows, planning to shop new shows like Batwoman to other services. But don’t worry, Riverdale fans. The old shows will still stay on Netflix, with new seasons, for the foreseeable future.
Deadline broke the news that the first output deal between Netflix and the CW parent companies CBS and Warner Bros has expired, with the CW declining to renew it. When the deal was announced in 2011, it was hailed as groundbreaking and a boon to the struggling then-new network, which was fast losing ratings and money.
But if you haven’t caught up with the new season of Riverdale, worry not. Netflix will continue getting new seasons of shows they already have, which includes Riverdale, Flash, and Dynasty, as well as keep past seasons of CW series that premiered through the current 2018-2019 season.
In the meanwhile, the CW will be shopping its new shows like Batwoman, Nancy Drew, and Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene individually to the various streaming homes, according to Deadline. That doesn’t mean that these series won’t still end up on Netflix, but Netflix no longer has automatic rights to them — the streaming giant will now have to bid against competitors.
This is a curious move for The CW, as the deal was incredibly beneficial to the network. While CW shows are by no means rating titans today, the network routinely saw ratings for its shows rise after they went to Netflix. Shows like Riverdale or Jane the Virgin would find new life on Netflix (thanks to prominent placement on its homepage), often becoming cult favorites. The full season of a CW show would debut on Netflix eight days after its season finale, giving fans a chance to catch up before new seasons aired in the fall.
There’s no word yet on whether Warner Bros. is planning to shift these shows over to the WarnerMedia streaming service that’s expected to debut early next year. But I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the longterm plan, with the streaming arena becoming increasingly divergent. The only ones who lose out on this deal, however, are the fans who will now likely have to shell out more money for another streaming service subscription. It’s either that or never find out who the Gargoyle King is.
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