Netflix already has a streaming deal with CBS. Now it has cut a deal to stream scripted series from the Eye Network’s little sister, The CW. The US licensing agreement with CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Television Group covers content on The CW from its current schedule through the 2014-15 season.
As part of the four-year output deal, Netflix has licensed the rights to stream more than 700 hours of previous-season episodes of The CW’s young-skewing dramas as well as future programs. The rights extend for four years after each series, current or future, ends its broadcast run on the network. The CW content can also be made available via traditional syndication windows, electronic sell-through services and, on a partial-season basis, through authenticated cable providers.
Programming available to Netflix members will include the eight dramas on The CW’s Fall 2011 schedule, including new series “Ringer,” “Hart of Dixie” and “The Secret Circle;” returning hits “The Vampire Diaries,” “Gossip Girl,” “90210,” “Supernatural,” “Nikita” and mid-season series, “One Tree Hill.”
Previous seasons of “The Vampire Diaries,” “Gossip Girl,” “One Tree Hill” and “Nikita” will be available to watch instantly on October 15, with previous seasons of “Supernatural” and “90210” beginning in January 2012. Episodes of all scripted series airing on The CW this broadcast season will premiere for Netflix members in Fall 2012. In addition, all episodes of future scripted series appearing on The CW through the 2014-15 season will be available to stream from Netflix through a commensurate window.
“This is a forward-thinking agreement for a network whose programming occupies a unique space in the content marketplace,” said CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves. “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.”
“This proves once again the overriding importance of content in our business, while showing how emerging platforms such as Netflix are adding value to the traditional TV ecosystem,” said Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. “And to open a new window like this for our television product strengthens the increasing value of our powerful, deep and growing portfolio.”
“This is programming for the on-demand generation and we hope this agreement deepens the relationships viewers already have with these powerful entertainment brands,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix.
“This deal works across multiple levels for us,” said Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW. “Not only will we be able to recruit new viewers for our shows through the powerful reach of Netflix, but it also makes The CW an even more attractive option to the creative community.”
RBR-TVBR observation: The key quote in this story is from Les Moonves – about being paid for the content. CBS has been very selective about which deals it will take and has demanded market value cash payments from anyone wanting to build a business based on the use of CBS-owned programming.