Warner Bros. and CBS are considering launching a new streaming service for its youth-oriented The CW Network that would cost subscribers between$2 to $4 per month. The new initiative, which comes as CW winds up current deals with Netflix and Hulu, is aimed to squeeze revenue from fans who already watch its popular shows — including Jane the Virgin — online, according to Bloomberg. The CW-dedicated streamer would feature a “live feed of popular shows like The Flash” and on-demand viewing of programs.
Creating a CW-dedicated streaming service would help the network pick up the steam it’s lost as young viewers watch shows online rather than on broadcast TV. As of early January, the network was averaging 1.92 million viewers per night in primetime (down from 2.2 million in 2014) according to Nielsen. It would also help negotiations with local affiliate Tribune Media, which owns stations that air the network in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Although consistently lagging behind the big four broadcast networks, The CW has received Golden Globes in two consecutive years. On Sunday, Rachel Bloom won the award for her performance in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Last year, Gina Rodriguez won for her starring role in Jane the Virgin.
Currently, Netflix offers CW shows’ past seasons and Hulu offers episodes of current seasons the day after their broadcast air date. The network wouldn’t likely re-up with the streamers if it goes forward with this option. “[We’re] exploring many, many, many of our options, and there are many entities who are quite interested in the CW product,” said CW president Mark Pedowitz at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour according to The Hollywood Reporter.
If The CW does decide to launch a streaming service, its part-owner, CBS, has experience with CBS All Access. The network’s standalone streamer launched late in 2014 and gives cord-cutters live streams of shows and on-demand TV for $6 per month.