The time has come to catch up on the epic adventures of Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) on Supernatural, as The CW has signed a 4-year deal to make past and future episodes of many of their hit television series available for instant streaming.
In total, Netflix will be adding over 700 hours of television programming from The CW to their continuously growing catalog. Beginning October 18, previous seasons of The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and Nikita will be available to watch instantly. Unfortunately, for fans of Supernatural (and 90210), you will have to wait until January 2012 to catch up on past episodes.
Additionally, plans are set in place to bring episodes from all scripted series airing on The CW this year to Netflix by the end of 2012 – with any future programming airing through 2015 soon following. That said, it is unknown how much Netflix paid The CW for rights to their programming library.
While this deal with The CW certainly sounds like a step in the right direction after all of the Qwikster controversy regarding splitting the instant stream and DVD portions of the company angered subscribers, it appears that The CW may be getting more out of this than Netflix, as the deal is non-exclusive.
Outside of providing Netflix with a hefty library of television programming, CBS and Warner Bros. Television retain the rights to make their programming available through traditional television syndication and other digital services. Of course, with Netflix currently having more than 20 million subscribers, the majority of people looking to quickly catch up on past television seasons will likely choose the “instant watch” avenue.
Here’s what CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves had to say about the agreement with Netflix:
“This is a forward-thinking agreement for a network whose programming occupies a unique space in the content marketplace. It is a model that opens a new door for The CW programming to expand its audience reach through the terrific Netflix service, and creates a brand-new window for CBS and Warner Bros. to be paid for the content we supply the network. It also further illustrates how new distribution systems are providing premium content suppliers with additive revenue streams while still preserving traditional monetization windows.”
While talk of forward-thinking agreements and additive revenue streams is always… fun(?), the best thing to come out of this deal is having all of the past seasons of Supernatural being made available to watch. With Supernatural season 7 just starting, many interested viewers have often stated that they’d like to find some way to watch the series from the beginning, instead of picking up the story seven years in.
Well, now you’ve got your chance.
Supernatural airs Fridays @9pm on The CW
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