CBS, Time Warner Plotting to Pull All CW Shows From Netflix
CBS and Time Warner are currently taking steps to remove their CW network from Netflix’s streaming services, thus allowing CBS to extend their proverbial middle finger to cable cutters who rely on Netflix’s and Hulu’s services.
According to Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw, the two companies are teaming up together to create a standalone streaming service solely for the CW, which they own jointly. The service could be priced at $2 to $4 a month. It would offer a “live feed” of shows as well as on-demand watching. So all of your favorite shows — Arrow, The Flash, iZombie, Jane the Virgin, and The 100 — would all move to a new streaming service, thus making us decide whether or not to add yet another expense to our video streaming lifestyles.
Back when streaming TV shows online was in its infancy (aka the days when you could only use your computer), most major networks had allowed people to watch their shows online the day after the episode’s original air date. They still do it, ads and all. CBS, on the other hand, never followed the trend. They never streamed full episodes of their current shows and they never lent themselves out to Hulu. A select few, such as Extant and Under the Dome, did make themselves available for free on Amazon Video if you were a Prime member. The inception of CBS All Access almost seemed like a kick in the teeth. A network channel, which you can get for free (without cable), making you pay to stream their TV shows on devices other than your computer?
(This writer watches literally one show from that channel, and that’s Supergirl. Because I didn’t want to give them any reason to justify my use of their service, I skipped CBS All Access altogether and bought the season pass on Amazon Instant Video. Plus, the CBS All Access app is offered on all major streaming devices except the Playstation 4.)
Nonetheless, a standalone CW streaming service (excluding the free CW Seed) could serve as a model for other TV networks who feel like they’re not getting enough from Netflix. Let’s not forget, streaming old seasons of popular TV shows is still Netflix’s bread and butter. If CBS and Time Warner have indeed started a trend worth following, it could damage Netflix’s bottom line.
We may also start seeing even more original content from Netflix because of this. They’re expected to produce a total of 600 hours of original content for 2016 — that’s 31 shows plus a number of movies and documentaries. While producing original content is expensive, the execs at Netflix see these as their best investments for the future. Furthermore, the company recently became available in 130 new countries. So while CBS and Time Warner may pose a threat, Netflix isn’t exactly hurting all that much…yet…probably.
And what about us, the consumers? Personally, my first reaction is to match CBS’s middle finger with my own and just buy season passes on Amazon Video. But that stems from my overall prejudice against the network which has been alive and well since childhood. Practically speaking, $2-$4 doesn’t sound all that bad…as long as they stay close to this range. But is that enough to to eliminate ads? Will there even be an ad-free option? And will they keep previous seasons of all of their shows? The CW, at least on Hulu Plus, likes to retire their episodes a couple weeks after their original airdates.
We’ll see. We’ll see…
Source: Business Insider