Netflix Nearing Streaming Deal Extension With The CW

Arrow S04E23 Still - Publicity - H 2016
Bettina Strauss/The CW

Arrow S04E23 Still - Publicity - H 2016

New seasons of shows like 'Arrow' will be available on Netflix a few weeks after they end.

Netflix is nearing a renewal of its streaming deal with The CW that would see the network's shows become available on the platform as soon as a few weeks after they end, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. 

The extension comes as The CW's existing output deals with Netflix and Hulu, struck in 2011 with the creation of the network, are set to expire later this year.

Netflix's 2011 deal for full seasons of CW shows like Arrow and The Flash was valued at $1 billion, but this time the streamer has flexed its muscle to significantly shorten the the window between the end of the season and when the episodes become available on its platform. Often full seasons of shows do not become available until right before the launch of a new season, making Netflix's shortened window notable. 

The deal, being negotiated by The CW owners CBS and Warner Bros., is said to extend Netflix's relationship for another five years and would give the streamer domestic rights to the shows for several years after they end. 

But while Netflix has re-upped its deal with The CW, negotiations with Hulu have stalled. Sources familiar with the talks tell THR that The CW was negotiating with Hulu — which had shared the rights for next-day episodes of Jane the Virgin and other series with The CW's digital properties — as recently as one week ago, but that Hulu executives had become frustrated by its terms, which would not have made episodes available for the streamer's ad-free plan and would have limited stacking to the five most recent episodes, a standard arrangement. Hulu wanted full-season stacking and balked at a price that these sources said did not match the lackluster streaming performance of many of The CW's lower-rated shows. 

The five most recent episodes of such CW shows as Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend will continue to be available on the ad-supported as well as The CW's app, which had been making those episodes available. Bloomberg reported in January that The CW was eyeing a stand-alone streaming service, similar to that of co-owner CBS, as its streaming output deals expired, but that appears to have been put on hold in favor of the lucrative renewal with Netflix. 

On the linear side, The CW has also signed a new five-year affiliate deal with Tribune Broadcasting. 

The CW and Hulu declined to comment. Netflix did not respond to a request for comment.