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CBS/Warner Brothers considering launching paid CW streaming service

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CBS/Warner Brothers considering launching paid CW streaming service

Old 01-16-16, 08:51 PM
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CBS/Warner Brothers considering launching paid CW streaming service

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articl...-of-cw-network

CBS Corp. and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. have discussed creating a paid streaming service for their jointly owned CW network to generate more income from the young fans who already watch shows like “Jane the Virgin’’ online, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
The owners are weighing the move as the expiration approaches for the CW’s current agreement with station owner Tribune Media Co., as well as deals with streaming partners Netflix Inc. and Hulu LLC, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are preliminary.

The timing gives the broadcast network a chance to retool its strategy and make a direct play for the growing number of viewers who don’t pay for cable or satellite TV. The prospect of a competing online service could also serve as leverage for the CW to get paid more under new arrangements with local station owners like Tribune or online partners. The network’s prime-time audience is down about 13 percent in the current TV season, according to Nielsen data.

CBS and Time Warner already offer online services. CBS All Access, started in late 2014, provides a live feed of the namesake broadcast network and a library of on-demand shows. The company also sells subscriptions to an online version of the premium channel Showtime. Time Warner’s HBO Now was introduced last April.

Monthly Fee
The proposed CW service would include a live feed of popular shows like “The Flash’’ along with programs on-demand. Selling subscriptions to the CW over the Internet is inevitable, the people said, suggesting a price of $2 to $4 a month is being discussed. The timing depends on how the network’s owners settle their negotiations, as well as talks with other parties, such as the local TV stations that have rights to the programming.

The CW is in the process of negotiating a new affiliation agreement with Tribune Media, which owns stations that offer the network in 13 markets, including Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. The parties signed a 10-year distribution deal in 2006, when CBS and Warner Bros. formed the network.
A CW spokesman said he couldn’t immediately comment. A Tribune spokeswoman said the company’s current affiliation deal with CBS expires in August and that talks between the parties are continuing. A Netflix official said its accord with CW also runs out soon.

Hulu didn’t respond to a request for comment. Netflix offers past seasons of CW programs while Hulu, owned by 21st Century Fox Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp., has episodes of current seasons while they are on the air.

Compensation
Under the plan being weighed, owners of CW affiliated stations, like Tribune, would be compensated for allowing a Web-based version of the network’s programming to be offered in their markets, the people said.
Warner Bros. and CBS must decide whether they want to sacrifice the windfall from those licensing deals in order to build their own service and establish a direct relationship with CW fans. Warner Bros. has produced more of the network’s programming than CBS, and while it doesn’t own any other TV networks, its parent Time Warner is home to outlets including HBO, TNT and CNN.

The CW Television Network draws a fraction of the viewers who tune in to the four major broadcast networks, though it has nurtured a following among young viewers. The network on Sunday won its second Golden Globe Award in as many years, as Rachel Bloom was awarded best actress in a TV comedy for her performance in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.’’
Through early January, the CW was averaging 1.92 million viewers a night in prime time this TV season, down from 2.2 million a year earlier, according to Nielsen data. CBS, the most watched network, is averaging almost 11 million viewers a night.

I had a feeling this was going to happen. Yet another network/studio is trying to launch their own paid streaming service. I don't know about this. There's only so many paid streaming services that people can afford and have time to watch.

If this service launches, this would probably mean the end of Netflix and Hulu getting CW content on their site. I hope this service doesn't happen. I think it would be a disaster.

Also, IMO if these networks/studios launch too many a la carte streaming services, you're just going to encourage more piracy. All of these millennials and college kids who don't subscribe to cable and don't make a lot of money can't afford all these services. They won't be able to subscribe to 10 different streaming services. High speed internet alone is already creeping close to $100/month for many people.

Last edited by DJariya; 01-16-16 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 01-17-16, 01:35 AM
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Re: CBS/Warner Brothers considering launching paid CW streaming service

It doesn't bother me that much. But I have two requirements.

First, there has to be a commercial free option. I'm not paying for a subscription if there's commercials.

Second, I want all episodes from past and current seasons. It bugs me that Hulu only offers the 5 latest episodes. I can't pick-up a show halfway through the season, because the first 5-6 episodes have expired.

I'd prefer to just buy the current seasons at Vudu. But they charge $49.99 for shows like Flash and Arrow. In the past there would be an occasional sale, and the price would temporarily drop down to $29.99. But the lowest sale price this year has been $39.99 during Christmas.
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Old 01-17-16, 09:56 AM
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Re: CBS/Warner Brothers considering launching paid CW streaming service

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
High speed internet alone is already creeping close to $100/month for many people.
Damn. My $35 a month is a steal!

And of course every network/channel wants their own streaming service. We did this when we started paying for Netflix and Hulu. They are going to get paid one way or another.
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Old 01-17-16, 10:52 AM
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Re: CBS/Warner Brothers considering launching paid CW streaming service

Originally Posted by TheBigDave View Post
First, there has to be a commercial free option. I'm not paying for a subscription if there's commercials.
Same here. This is why I don't subscribe to CBS all access. I would actually like to be able to stream some of the content & the price isn't that much. But I tried it when it first started & there are forced commercials at each break. Not only that, but the SAME commercials over & over. Sometimes within the same break. It was unbearable & I dropped it. I don't know why anyone would pay to watch unskippable ads.

It might take some time, but I think they are going to find that the market will not support a separate streaming service for each network.
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Old 01-17-16, 02:53 PM
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Re: CBS/Warner Brothers considering launching paid CW streaming service

Originally Posted by Eddie W View Post
Same here. This is why I don't subscribe to CBS all access. I would actually like to be able to stream some of the content & the price isn't that much. But I tried it when it first started & there are forced commercials at each break. Not only that, but the SAME commercials over & over. Sometimes within the same break. It was unbearable & I dropped it. I don't know why anyone would pay to watch unskippable ads.
I sent an email to CBS All Access asking about a commercial free version last week. This was the response:

"Unfortunately, there is no commercial-free version of the All Access program at this time. We are currently considering such an addition, but there is no timetable for this feature. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you."

I'm sure it's just a standard response. But hopefully they really are considering a no-ads option.
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Old 01-30-16, 01:26 PM
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Re: CBS/Warner Brothers considering launching paid CW streaming service

This seems destined to fail if they are thinking of a joint venture. I would imagine the CBS and CW among major networks have the 2 wildly most different demo's with CW shows being really popular in the 14-34 range for online viewing and the CBS median viewer not knowing how to work an online thingamajig.
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Old 02-01-16, 12:06 PM
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Re: CBS/Warner Brothers considering launching paid CW streaming service

Originally Posted by Eddie W View Post
Same here. This is why I don't subscribe to CBS all access. I would actually like to be able to stream some of the content & the price isn't that much. But I tried it when it first started & there are forced commercials at each break. Not only that, but the SAME commercials over & over. Sometimes within the same break. It was unbearable & I dropped it. I don't know why anyone would pay to watch unskippable ads.

It might take some time, but I think they are going to find that the market will not support a separate streaming service for each network.
The commercial thing is my big gripe with streaming as well. I understand why they have to have commercials, but it seems like they break more often than on broadcast and show the same ads over and over again. And you can't fast forward through them of course. Although, on the NBC app I was able to fast forward from the start of a show, through the commercials and play where I wanted in the show. after that I had to sit through each subsequent commercial break.

And doesn't CW already have a free streaming channel called CW Seed or something like that? I can't believe that CW has enough viewers period to make this a viable option.
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