The CW and Netflix dropped a bombshell and did a bit of an about-face when it was announced that the network and the streaming service just signed a long-term exclusive deal for what can only be assumed to be truckloads of cash.
It boils down to two major points. First, full seasons are going to be up quicker, like way quicker. Under the old deal, full seasons hit Netflix the same week that the next season premiered on The CW, so September-Octoberish. Under this new deal, you can see Barry cry, Ollie brood, Kara be boy crazy, ex-girlfriends sing and dance, Liv chow down and Jane not have sex a mere eight days after the season ends. So, no time for the beach on future Memorial Day Weekends; that will now be reserved for catching up on Supernatural.
The second point is, what is great news for bingers isn’t that great for cord-cutters. Finding individual episodes in the days after they air got a little more difficult. The exclusivity of the deal means Hulu, a major source of a lot of network programming for cord-cutters, is off the board. Next-day episodes are still going to be available either through pay services like iTunes or Amazon, or by the CW’s own network streaming portal which will have a limited number of episodes available (a setup similar to Hulu).
It’s a smart move for a network with a core demographic that more likely consumes its content on something other than a TV. It is a 180-degree from just a few months ago when executives were grousing about protecting the network and the ad revenue it generates by getting out of the streaming game altogether.
Luckily for fans of impossibly pretty people superheroing, telenovelaing or solvin’ mysteries wiser heads prevailed and The CW will be raking that sweet, sweet Netflix dough for years to come.