While we usually don’t report on business news here at Dread Central, an item about Netflix and The CW network from this morning really caught our eyes: Netflix will start streaming shows from The CW starting this weekend.
Before everyone gets too excited, there are some restrictions in place. Only past seasons will be available for streaming when a show is currently under way. This means that we won’t get to watch the current season of The CW shows until the following fall. However, since now is the “following fall” for the network’s current shows, past seasons can be streamed from Netflix starting this weekend.
To cut through the confusing business-speak:
1) You can watch past seasons of “The Vampire Diaries” on Netflix streaming starting October 15.
2) “Supernatural” past seasons will be available in January 2012.
3) The first season of “The Secret Circle” will come available in fall 2012.
For our business-geek readers, here is the press release:
CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Television Group announced today a licensing agreement with Netflix [Nasdaq: NFLX] allowing U.S. members of Netflix to instantly watch previous seasons of scripted series that air on The CW from its current schedule through the 2014-15 season.
As part of this 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. These 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,” and “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.
With this agreement, Netflix members can catch up on prior seasons of the network’s addictive serialized dramas streaming from Netflix as well as watch new episodes on The CW during their in-season broadcast.
“This is a forward-thinking agreement for a network whose programming occupies a unique space in the content marketplace,” said Leslie Moonves, President & Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation. “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.
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