Netflix subscribers can stream full seasons of ‘Arrow,’ ‘Flash’ and more shows a lot sooner with renewed CW pact


Netflix and the CW television network renewed their programming agreement, which keeps the Internet video service the exclusive streaming home for such popular shows as “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Jane the Virgin,” “Flash” and “Arrow.”

Financial terms were not disclosed.

But the multi-year agreement, announced Tuesday, extends a lucrative relationship that began in 2011 when Netflix became a financial lifeline for the small CW broadcast network, which is a joint venture between Warner Bros. and CBS Corp.

Because CW’s shows are geared to young audiences, the Netflix arrangement became a potent tool to introduce the programs to young adults who are less inclined to watch broadcast TV. The Netflix deal also allowed the CW to become profitable after five years of spilling red ink.


The previous four-year arrangement brought more than $1 billion to CW in licensing fees, which allowed the small outlet to expand its budget for programming.

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The latest pact includes all current CW series as well as new offerings, including “Supergirl,” which is moving over from CBS.

Netflix subscribers will be able to stream full seasons of the CW shows beginning eight days after the season finale of each program. That roll-out pattern is intended to protect the advertising revenue that the CW collects during program episodes initial runs on broadcast TV.

Fresh episodes will come to Netflix several months sooner than was the case under the previous pact. In the past, a season of episodes would be made available to the streaming service a full year after the season debuted, typically in October.

Now, episodes will be made available on Netflix in late May or June – days after the TV season wraps.


“Netflix members in the U.S. love the great lineup of series from The CW, and we are thrilled to extend the relationship and bring those shows to our members exclusively now, just eight days after their season finales,” Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, said in a statement.

CW’s president, Mark Pedowitz, touted the arrangement as another step in the evolution of the scrappy TV network.

“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 said.

The CW recently finished its advertising sales for the upcoming TV season, notching double-digit rate increases, according to a person familiar with the matter. Traditional networks are benefiting from strong advertiser demand for TV commercial time.

The CW also recently renewed its long-term TV station distribution agreement with Tribune Media. CW prime-time shows run on KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles.

Netflix, based in Los Gatos, also said Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with Philadelphia cable giant Comcast Corp. that will allow Comcast subscribers with the X1 operating system to eventually access Netflix programming, including “Orange is the New Black,” through their set-top TV box.


“Comcast and Netflix have reached an agreement to incorporate Netflix into X1, providing seamless access to the great content offered by both companies,” the two companies said in a brief statement. “We have much work to do before the service will be available to consumers later this year.”

No other details were made available, but the development represents a thaw in the frosty relations between the two companies. Comcast and Netflix have been on opposite sides of several technology policy disputes. Netflix helped thwart Comcast’s efforts to buy Time Warner Cable in 2015.

The news about making Netflix shows available on the X1 platform was first reported by the technology news site Recode.




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1:22 p.m. This article was updated with more details about Netflix’s arrangement with the CW, and information about a Netflix deal with Comcast Corp.

This article was originally published at 10:14 a.m.