The CW has gone through a major change regarding how audiences can stream the network's shows online, with Netflix doing its best to help move things in a new direction. Given the shifts when it comes to moving from traditional cable subscriptions to less costly methods via online streaming services, it can be a big deal when sudden changes take place.
It was recently reported that Hulu would be ending its deal with The CW to stream in-season episodes of their shows. This is a big deal, as it means viewers that "cut the cord" to get away from traditional cable, in favor of services such as Hulu, will no longer be able to watch new episodes of shows such as Arrow, The Flash,and Supernatural, the very next day. On the positive side of things, Netflix has now confirmed a multi-year deal that will bring entire seasons to the streaming platform much sooner than before.
According to Variety the details of this new deal have now been confirmed. Starting with the 2016-17 season, CW shows will be available for streaming on Netflix eight days after each program’s season finale. This deal will significantly shorten the window between a show’s broadcast finale and its debut on Netflix. This deal will extend to each of The CW's scripted series, including the three newest shows, Frequency, No Tomorrow and Riverdale.
This deal means not having to wait until the fall for these various shows to debut their past season on Netflix, which generally coincides with both a Blu-ray/DVD release and the upcoming premiere of the new season. Both parties involved obviously had positive things to say, with The CW president Mark Pedowitz stating that, “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.” Pedowitz went on to support this decision both as a positive for streaming users and for the various broadcast affiliates and other partners this deal would work out for, as far as providing better in-season exclusivity.
As good as this news may be for those who rely on various streaming services (aside from Hulu) there is still the matter of the many viewers who will now lose the ability to watch their favorite shows almost as soon as they air. Culture has certainly shifted in an age where "binge-watching" various television programs is quite common, but many still enjoy getting new episodes as soon as possible. The CW app will now be one of the only legal ways to watch the newest episodes in a timely manner (aside from catching them as they air on TV, of course), but those viewers will not be getting the HD experience.
Still, while the Hulu deal has expired, those who wait for entire seasons to be available will now have access to them much sooner. This new future could also provide some interesting analysis with regards to which shows are viewed quickest, upon making it onto Netflix at this new rate. The deal also adds onto Netflix's move to seemingly dominate its streaming platform competition.
This new streaming deal for The CW and Netflix will begin with the 2016-17 season.