TCA 2016: Network expects to have new streaming deal in place “in six to nine months,” says president Mark Pedowitz
The CW is looking for a new streaming home for its shows and could find it with one of its corporate parents.
The lucrative agreement that CBS and Time Warner, which co-own the CW, signed with Netflix in 2011 to stream the network’s shows expired last fall. The network and its parents are currently in talks with several companies, including Netflix, about a successor deal. But one possibility could be CBS All Access.
“It’s one of many options being explored,” the CW president Mark Pedowitz told TheWrap following a Television Critics Association panel on Sunday. “We’re looking at a lot of alternatives right now. And we have the luxury to do that.”
The 2011 Netflix deal put the CW, which draws lower ratings than other broadcasters do and lacks the second-revenue stream of subscriber dollars that cable networks enjoy, on solid financial footing.
“We’re going to continue to explore where that plays out, and it could play out in many different forms,” Pedowitz said during his panel about a new streaming agreement. “I don’t have the answer yet. Probably, within the next six to nine months, we’ll have a new strategy going forward.”
That new deal would cover this season’s freshman shows, including “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”
Pedowitz said after the panel that the network and its parents have had discussions with several streaming services, including Netflix, about a new agreement.
One option could be to keep the CW’s shows within the corporate family. Back in 2011, neither CBS nor Time Warner had a digital platform comparable to Netflix or Hulu. Now each does — the former with CBS All Access and the latter with HBO Now.
CBS announced last year that it will begin producing original programming for All Access. The first planned original show is a new “Star Trek” series, the first since 2005. HBO Now launched last year as a standalone streaming option for HBO customers without cable subscriptions.