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The CW is still losing money, but it appears to be moving in the right direction.
The broadcast network lost $83 million in the first quarter of 2023, an improvement from Q4 when it lost $94 million.
While The CW remains a work in progress, it is now firmly contributing to parent company Nexstar’s bottom line, with the local TV giant reporting record quarterly net revenue of $1.26 billion, a 3.9 percent improvement from a year earlier.
That was despite advertising revenue declining by 6 percent year over year, with digital revenue and distribution revenue more than making up for it.
“All-time high quarterly distribution revenue and the benefit of The CW acquisition more than offset the cyclical year-over-year decline in political and Olympic advertising, resulting in record first quarter net revenues for the Company,” Nexstar CEO Perry Sook said in a statement. “We’re also making continued progress on our plan for The CW with key personnel appointments, further overhead cost reductions and new programming additions, including our exclusive multi-year partnership with LIV Golf.”
The numbers for The CW were reported in Nexstar’s Q1 earnings report. The local TV giant acquired The CW from Paramount and Warner Bros. Discovery last year. Since then, it has outlined a plan to lean into much less expensive reality programming and acquired fare, as well as a deal with the controversial LIV Golf tour.
Nexstar says it expects The CW to be profitable in 2025. In the near term: “we expect 2023 will continue to benefit from recently renegotiated distribution contracts representing more than half of our subscribers at the end of last year, while 2024 will see strong upside from presidential election year political advertising and additional distribution contract renewals later this year,” the company says.
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