THE CW TELEVISION NETWORK (commonly referred to as just THE CW) is an
American English-language broadcast television network that is
The CW Network, LLC, a limited liability joint venture
CBS Corporation , the former owners of United Paramount
UPN ), and
Warner Bros. Entertainment , a division of Time
Warner , former majority owner of
The WB Television Network . The "CW"
name is an abbreviation derived from the first letters of the names of
its two parent corporations (
CBS and Warner Bros.).
The network made its debut on September 18, 2006, after its two
UPN and The WB, respectively ceased independent
operations on September 15 and 17 of that year. The CW's first two
nights of programming – on September 18 and 19, 2006 – consisted
of reruns and launch-related specials .
The CW marked its formal
launch date on September 20, 2006, with the two-hour premiere of the
seventh cycle of _America\'s Next Top Model _. As of 2008, the
network's programming lineup was intended to appeal mainly to women
between the ages of 18 and 34, although starting in 2011 the network
increased in programming that appeal to men. The network currently
runs programming six days a week: airing Monday through Fridays in the
afternoon and in prime time, along with a Saturday morning live-action
educational programming block produced by
Litton Entertainment called
One Magnificent Morning _.
The CW is also available in Canada on cable , satellite and IPTV
providers through stations owned-and-operated by
CBS Corporation and
affiliates that are located within proximity to the Canada–United
States border (whose broadcasts of CW shows are subject to
simultaneous substitution laws imposed by the Canadian
Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission , if a Canadian
network holds the broadcast rights); it is also available through two
affiliates owned by
Tribune Media that are classified in that country
as superstations – New York City affiliate
WPIX and Los Angeles
The CW is also available in Mexico through affiliates located near
Mexico–U.S. border (such as KFMB-DT2 /
San Diego -
El Centro, California , KVIA-DT2 in El Paso , and KCWT-CD
with simulcasters KFXV-LD2 and KNVO-DT4 in McAllen –Brownsville,
Texas ) on pay television providers. In both countries, some CW
affiliates are receivable over-the-air in border areas depending on
the station's signal coverage .
* 1 History
* 1.1 1993–2006: Origins
* 1.2 2006–2011: Beginnings
* 1.3 2011–2012: New leadership
* 1.4 2012–present: Breakthrough
* 2 Programming
* 2.1 Children\'s programming
* 3 Differences between
The CW and the "Big Four" networks
* 3.1 Network programming and scheduling
* 3.2 Affiliate distribution
* 3.2.1 Digital multicasting and cable television
* 4 Stations
* 4.1 Overview
* 4.2 Launch repercussions
* 4.3 Affiliate issues
* 4.3.1 Problems with
Time Warner Cable
Pappas Telecasting bankruptcy
* 4.3.3 Marianas Media bankruptcy
* 4.3.4 Tribune\'s relations with
The CW and their de-emphasis of
the network\'s brand
Roberts Broadcasting bankruptcy
* 4.4 Station standardization
* 5 Related services
* 5.1 Video-on-demand services
The CW HD
* 6 Marketing and multimedia
* 7 See also
* 8 Footnotes
* 9 Further reading
* 10 External links
The WB and
UPN The CW's original pre-launch
logo. At the network's first upfront presentation on May 18, 2006, the
provisional blue-and-white rectangle logo that was used during the
network's formation announcement in January was replaced by a
green-and-white, curved-letter insignia that drew comparisons to the
logo used by
CNN , another company with
Time Warner ownership
The CW Television Network is a successor to
The WB and the United
Paramount Network (
UPN ), both of which launched within one week of
each other in January 1995, with the former making its debut first on
January 11 and the latter premiering five days later on January 16.
The WB both began just as the Fox network had started to
secure a foothold with American television audiences. The two networks
launched to limited fanfare and generally mediocre to poor results.
However, over the subsequent 11 1⁄2 seasons, both were able to air
several series that became quite popular (such as _Buffy the Vampire
Slayer _, _Star Trek: Voyager _, _7th Heaven _, _Dawson\'s Creek _ and
Charmed _). Towards the end of their first decade on the air, The WB
UPN were in decline, unable to reach the audience share or have
the effect that Fox had gained within its first decade, much less that
of the Big Three networks (ABC ,
NBC ). In the eleven years
The WB were in operation, the two networks lost a
combined $2 billion. Incidentally, Chris-Craft Industries, Viacom and
Time Warner officials had discussed a possible merger of
UPN and The
WB as early as September 1995, only nine months after their respective
launches; however, discussions ultimately broke down over issues on
how to combine Chris-Craft and
Tribune Broadcasting 's station
interests in the proposal to merge the networks, since the two
companies' station portfolios overlapped with one another in several
major markets than facing questionable futures as separate networks.
Time Warner announced on January 24, 2006,
that they would respectively shut down
UPN and The WB, and combine
resources to form a new broadcast network, to be known as The CW
Television Network, that would – at the outset – feature
programming from both of its predecessors-to-be as well as new content
developed specifically for the new network.
CBS chairman Leslie
Moonves explained that the name of the new network was formed from the
first letters of
CBS and Warner Bros, joking, "We couldn't call it the
WC for obvious reasons." Although some executives reportedly disliked
the new name, Moonves stated in March 2006 that there was "zero
chance" the name would change, citing research claiming 48% of the
target demographic were already aware of the CW name.
In May 2006,
The CW announced that it would pick up a combined
thirteen programs from its two predecessors to air as part of the
network's inaugural fall schedule: seven series held over from The WB
(_7th Heaven_, _
Beauty and the Geek _, _
Gilmore Girls _, _One Tree
Hill _, _Reba _, _
Smallville _ and _Supernatural _) and six held over
UPN (_America\'s Next Top Model _, _
Veronica Mars _, _Everybody
Hates Chris _, _Girlfriends _, _
All of Us _ and _
WWE SmackDown _).
Upon the network's launch,
The CW chose to use the scheduling model
The WB due in part to the fact that it had a more
extensive base programming schedule than UPN, allowing for a larger
total of weekly programming hours for the new network to fill. (The WB
carried 30 hours of programming each week because of its having a
children's program block and a daytime lineup that
UPN did not offer;
UPN was primarily a prime time-only network with 12 weekly hours of
network programming at the time of the network's shutdown).
UPN and The WB,
The CW targets its programming towards
Time Warner hoped that combining their
networks' schedules and affiliate lineups would strengthen
The CW into
a fifth "major" broadcast network. One week before the network's
official launch, on September 11, 2006, a new, full version of the
network website, www.cwtv.com, was launched; the website began to
feature more in-depth information about The CW's shows.
The CW launched with a premiere special/launch party from the CBS
Entertainment Tonight _ at
Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank
, California on September 18, 2006, after a repeat of the tenth-season
finale of _7th Heaven_; the same schedule was repeated on September
19, with the sixth-season finale of _Gilmore Girls_ airing in the
second hour of prime time. The network continued to air season
finales from the previous season through the remainder of the first
week, except for _America's Next Top Model_ and _
WWE SmackDown_, which
respectively began their new seasons on September 20 and 22, with
two-hour premieres. When _Top Model_ made its network premiere on
September 20, 2006,
The CW scored a 3.4 rating/5 share (with hourly
ratings of 3.1/5 and 3.6/6;
The CW placed fifth overall) in the
Nielsen household ratings . It scored a 2.6 rating among Adults
18–49, finishing fourth in that age demographic and beating the 2.2
rating earned by Fox on that night. The network's second week
consisted of season and series premieres for all of its other series
from September 25 to October 1, with the exception of _Veronica Mars_,
which debuted its third season on October 3.
Despite having several of the most popular programs carried over from
The WB as part of its schedule,
The CW – even though it
experienced some success with newer programs that launched in
subsequent seasons which became modest hits – largely struggled to
gain an audience foothold throughout its first five years on the air.
Because of declining viewership for the network during the 2007–08
season and effects from the Writers Guild of America strike , the
network announced on March 4, 2008, that it would eliminate its comedy
department (dismissing executive vice president of comedy Kim Fleary,
and senior vice president of comedy Steve Veisel), while also
combining its drama and current programming departments into a single
scripted programming unit. The corporate restructuring – which also
included the elimination of certain positions, other newly opened
positions being left unfilled, layoffs from the
Kids' WB unit (as the
block was set to be replaced by The CW4Kids on May 24), and the
elimination and transfer of marketing positions at
The CW Plus to the
network's marketing department – resulted in the layoffs of around
25 to 30 employees.
On May 9, 2008,
The CW announced that it would lease its Sunday
lineup (then running from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time
) to production company
Media Rights Capital (MRC). As Sundays have
historically been a low-rated night for the network during its first
two seasons on the air (due to stiff competition from CBS, ABC and
Fox's strong Sunday lineups, and complicated further by NBC's
acquisition of _Sunday Night Football _ in September 2006, shortly
The CW debuted), the move allowed
The CW to concentrate on its
Monday through Saturday prime time schedule, while giving MRC the
right to develop and schedule programs of its own choosing and reap
advertising revenue generated by the lineup. The Sunday series that
were scheduled – two reality series (_
4Real _ and _In Harm\'s Way _)
and two scripted series (romantic dramedy _Valentine _ and drama _Easy
Money _) – performed poorly in the ratings (averaging only 1.04
million viewers ), prompting
The CW to scrap its agreement with MRC
and program Sunday nights on its own starting on November 30, 2008.
With no first-run programming available to run on Sundays as a backup,
the network added reruns of _
The Drew Carey Show _ and _Jericho _, and
movies to replace the MRC-produced programs.
One of the shows carried over to the network from UPN, _
Night SmackDown _, ended its run on
The CW after the September 26,
2008, episode due to negotiations ending between the
The CW on
renewing the program. Representatives for
The CW later confirmed that
it had chosen not to continue carrying _SmackDown_ because the network
had redefined its target audience as exclusively females 18 to 34
years old, whereas _Smackdown_ targeted a predominately male audience
– although it continued to air some shows that targeted male viewers
afterward, such as _Smallville_ and _Supernatural_. Following
_Smackdown_'s move to
MyNetworkTV that same season, the Fox -owned
network (which launched the same month as The CW's debut, albeit two
weeks earlier, on September 5, 2006) began beating
The CW in the
Friday ratings every week from that program's debut on the network,
The CW continued to beat
MyNetworkTV overall. _SmackDown_
would eventually leave broadcast television altogether in October
2010, when the program moved to the
Syfy cable channel before moving
USA Network in 2016 as part of
WWE 's plan to consolidate all of
its programming airing on
NBCUniversal networks to USA Network.
The CW has generally struggled in the
Nielsen ratings since its
inception, primarily placing fifth in all statistics tabulated by
Nielsen (total audience viewership and demographic ratings). On
The CW has even been outrated by Spanish language
Univision . This had led to speculation within the industry
(including a May 16, 2008 article in _
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal _ ) that
Time Warner or both companies could abandon the venture if
ratings did not improve. However, The CW's fortunes were buoyed in the
2008–09 and 2009–10 television seasons thanks to increased ratings
among females in the 18–34 demographic and the buzz that some of its
newer series (such as _
Gossip Girl _, _90210 _ and _The Vampire
Diaries _) had generated with audiences. Executives with CBS
Time Warner also emphasized their commitment to the
On May 5, 2009,
The CW announced that it would give the five hours of
network time on Sundays back to its affiliated stations that fall,
effectively becoming a weeknight-only network in prime time, in
The CW Daytime and The CW4Kids blocks (the latter block,
airing on Saturday mornings, would remain the only weekend programming
supplied by the network). This, in turn, resulted in the
discontinuance of the Sunday late afternoon repeat block that The CW
The WB (formerly branded by that network as "EasyView")
through its use of the predecessor network's scheduling model.
Subsequently, in mid-May, 65% of The CW's affiliates, including those
The CW Plus, signed agreements to continue to air the
replacement _MGM Showcase_ movie package on Sundays, which was offered
as a traditional syndicated film package meant for The CW's former
prime time slot on that night.
2011–2012: NEW LEADERSHIP
On April 28, 2011,
Mark Pedowitz was appointed by the network to
succeed original president of entertainment
Dawn Ostroff ; Pedowitz
assumed broader responsibilities in The CW's business operations than
Ostroff had, as the network's first president. As president of
entertainment, Ostroff oversaw entertainment operations while John
Maatta, the network's chief operating officer, handled business
affairs; both reported to a board composed of
CBS and Warner Bros.
executives. Maatta began reporting to Pedowitz as a result of the
latter's appointment as network president.
Pedowitz revealed that the core target demographic of the network
would not change, though
The CW would attempt to lure new viewers.
Pedowitz began looking to bring comedies back to
The CW after former
president, Dawn Ostroff, publicly declared that the difficulty of
developing comedies for its target demographic as the reason for their
removal from the network following the 2008–09 season (with
_Everybody Hates Chris_, and _The Game _ – a spin-off of
_Girlfriends_ – becoming the last comedies to be cancelled). The
network also ordered more episodes of its original series and ran them
consecutively through the first week of December, starting on
September 12, without repeats. In July 2012, Pedowitz no longer
referred to the target demographic of
The CW as women 18-34, but
rather that it would now be an "18-34 adult network".
The CW began to experience more success with the introduction of
action-superhero series _Arrow _ (based on
DC Comics ' Green Arrow
franchise), which received favorable reviews from critics and became a
hit with audiences when it premiered in September 2012. As evidence of
the network's refocusing toward a more inclusive audience, _Arrow_ not
only premiered to some of the highest viewership totals in the
network's history (the third highest overall as of 2015 , behind the
series premieres of _The Vampire Diaries_ and _The Flash_), it also
gave the network its strongest performance in the demographic of males
18-34 since _Smallville_ ended its run in May 2011. Around this time,
the network introduced an image campaign under the "TV Now" slogan, in
part to emphasize the availability of CW content across television,
computer and mobile platforms.
The CW continued to build momentum in subsequent seasons. The network
finally found success with its summer programming in 2013, with the
revival of the U.S. version of the improv comedy series _Whose Line Is
It Anyway? _, which later became part of the network's fall-to-spring
schedule; this was subsequently followed in 2014 by the strong
performance of midseason sci-fi drama _The 100 _. On November 21,
The CW beat
NBC for the first time in the key demographic of
Adults 18-49 for a single calendar night.
On April 28, 2014,
The CW announced that they would begin
jointly coordinating advertising sales. The two networks will
continue to set pricing for commercials independently of one another,
but the sales teams now coordinate and share resources in research and
other areas to develop strategies that bring value to advertising. Rob
Tuck, executive vice president of sales for The CW, would continue to
report to Mark Pedowitz, but with added direction from CBS' president
of sales, Jo Ann Ross.
On October 14, 2014,
The CW announced that John Maatta would step
down as its executive vice president. Maatta is the longest serving
executive of The CW, having transitioned from his post as Chief
Operating Officer at The WB; Maatta also holds the distinction of
being the first employee hired by The WB, after that network's
Jamie Kellner . Company-wide cutbacks at Time Warner
resulted in the
Warner Bros. Entertainment division instituting
several layoffs and the elimination of executive positions at The CW
in November 2014. One of these positions belonged to senior vice
president of alternative programming Kristen Connolly Vadas, one of
two alternative programming executives at The CW, who had been in
charge of the network's unscripted projects since 2008.
The 2014–15 season saw the premieres of three critically acclaimed
shows that also earned strong ratings: _Arrow_ spin-off _The Flash _,
the freshman comedy-drama _
Jane the Virgin _ (loosely adapted from the
Venezuelan telenovela _Juana la Virgen _), and freshman offbeat crime
dramedy _iZombie _ (a loose adaptation based on DC's Vertigo comic
book series of the same name ). _The Flash_ surpassed _The Vampire
Dairies_ as the highest-rated premiere in the network's history and
became the most watched show on the network. _Jane the Virgin_,
meanwhile, earned some of the highest critical praise of any series
during the 2014–15 television season, and during its first season,
became the first CW series ever to have been nominated for and win a
Golden Globe Award (with lead actress Gina Rodriguez winning the
Golden Globe for "Best Actress in a Comedy or Variety Series").
_iZombie_, which premiered as a mid-season replacement , earned both
strong ratings (at one point becoming the third highest-rated show on
The CW) and critical acclaim. Overall, the network ended the 2014–15
season posting its highest average total viewership in a single
television season since 2007–08 with 2.15 million viewers, a 12%
increase in total viewership year-to-year;
The CW also posted its
highest seasonal demographic ratings among males ages 18–49 with a
0.8 share. The network's Summer 2015 schedule also saw the debut of
Significant Mother _, the first original half-hour sitcom to air on
The CW since 2009 (other scripted half-hour comedies have aired on the
network since that time, consisting of imported series acquired by The
CW through distribution deals with Canadian and British producers).
The 2015–16 season saw two shows that receive similar success: the
freshman musical comedy-drama _Crazy Ex-Girlfriend _ and the
_Arrow/Flash_ spin-off _DC\'s
Legends of Tomorrow _. _Crazy
Ex-Girlfriend_ became one of the most critically acclaimed shows of
the season and became the second show on the network to be nominated
and win a
Golden Globe Award (with actress
Rachel Bloom win a Golden
Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy or Variety Series); _DC's
Legends of Tomorrow_, meanwhile, earned high ratings for the network
and became the most watched show on the network's Thursday night block
in two years. On the other hand, _Containment _ was cancelled
following mixed reviews and falling ratings (although the series had
been promoted as being a limited series).
The 2016–17 season saw mixed fortunes with
_Supergirl _ providing a boost to the lineup, while freshmen series
_Frequency _ and _No Tomorrow _ failed to live up to ratings
expectations and were canceled. Critically acclaimed freshman series
_Riverdale _ fared better, securing a renewal despite modest ratings.
List of programs broadcast by The CW
As of September 2015 ,
The CW currently provides 20 hours of
regularly scheduled network programming each week, over the course of
six days. The network provides ten hours of prime time programming to
its owned-and-operated and affiliated stations on Monday through
Fridays from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time. Outside of
prime time, an hour of daytime programming is also offered Monday
through Fridays from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. in all time zones, in the form
of talk show _
The Robert Irvine Show _ (though a few affiliates –
WPIX in New York City,
WPWR-TV in Chicago,
KDAF in Dallas
-Fort Worth ,
KPXJ in Shreveport and
Charlotte – carry the
show earlier in the afternoon); while weekend programming consists
solely of a five-hour educational programming block called "One
Magnificent Morning " (which airs as part of the CW schedule through a
time-lease agreement with
Litton Entertainment ) on Saturday mornings
from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in all time zones.
The weekday daytime hour provided by the network and the
Litton-produced Saturday morning block (the latter of which is subject
to scheduling variances similar to the weekday hour in some markets,
such as in
San Diego ) are designed to be tape delayed and
are therefore recommended to air in the same time slot in all time
zones, though both are broadcast one hour earlier on affiliates of The
CW Plus in the Central , Mountain and Alaska Time Zones . In
Guam , CW
KTKB-LD in Hagåtña airs the CW schedule day and date
on a one-day tape delay from its initial broadcast because of the time
Guam and the continental United States as the
island is on the west side of the
International Date Line
International Date Line . As of
2017, _Supernatural_ (which originally aired on The WB) is the only CW
series carried over from either of the network's respective
predecessors that continues to be broadcast on the network.
The CW formerly aired short segments during commercial breaks within
certain episodes of its programs known as "Content Wraps" – a play
on the network's name – in order to advertise one company's product
during part or the entirety of a commercial break. The entertainment
magazine series _
CW Now _ was inspired in part by the success of the
Content Wraps as it was intended to be a series with product placement
; the program was cancelled in 2008, after a single 23-episode
season. For the 2006–07 season,
The CW reached an agreement with
American Eagle Outfitters to incorporate tie-ins with the company's
aerie clothing line as part of the Content Wrap concept within the
network's Tuesday night schedule, which included subjects in the
commercials commenting on plot points in each of the shows. The
agreement was cut down to regular advertising in February 2007, after
a fan backlash by viewers of both shows and general criticism of the
Main articles: Kids\' WB ,
Vortexx , and One Magnificent
On September 23, 2006, the _Kids\' WB _ children's programming block
– which originated on
The WB in September 1995 and continued to be
Warner Bros. Television – was carried over to
The CW as
part of its inaugural programming lineup; although the network on
which it originated ceased operations the week before, the "Kids' WB"
branding was retained for the block. On October 2, 2007, through a
joint decision between corporate parents
Warner Bros. Television and
The CW announced that it would discontinue the _Kids'
WB_ block due to competition from cable channels aimed at the
demographic (such as
Cartoon Network , which carried many series
shared with the block and vice versa,
Nickelodeon and Disney Channel
), as well as the effects of children's advertising limits, and would
sell the programming rights to the network's Saturday morning block to
4Kids Entertainment (which at the time of the announcement, had
produced a competing children's programming block, _
4Kids TV _, for
Fox ). _Kids' WB_ ended its run on May 17, 2008 (though some CW
affiliates that delayed the block to Sundays, such as
_Toonzai_ ended its run on August 18, 2012.
On July 3, 2012, Saban Brands and Kidsco Media Ventures, affiliates
Saban Capital Group , entered into an agreement to program the
five-hour Saturday morning time slot with a new action-adventure and
comedy programming block for The CW. TheCW4Kids/
Toonzai was replaced
Vortexx _ on August 25, 2012, featuring programs such as _Power
Rangers Lost Galaxy _ and _
WWE Saturday Morning Slam _, the latter of
which marked the return of
WWE programming to the network since _WWE
Smackdown_ moved to
MyNetworkTV in 2008.
On June 5, 2014,
The CW announced an agreement with Litton
Entertainment to program a block of live-action series designed to
comply with the FCC's educational programming guidelines. Vortexx
(which was the last remaining non-educational children's block on the
major U.S. broadcast networks) was replaced by _One Magnificent
Morning _ on October 4, 2014, effectively ending forever the nearly
60-year history of cartoons on Saturday morning television. The
block features a mix of wildlife and lifestyle-themed programs,
similar in vein to those featured on the Litton-produced blocks aired
by ABC and CW sister network
CBS (one of its initial programs,
_Expedition Wild_, was moved over to "One Magnificent Morning" from
the ABC block; while one of the CW block's early entries, _Rock the
Park_, moved to "Litton's Weekend Adventure" after one season). On
January 7, 2016,
The CW and Litton announced a five-year renewal for
the block, extending it through the 2020–21 broadcast season.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE CW AND THE "BIG FOUR" NETWORKS
NETWORK PROGRAMMING AND SCHEDULING
The CW airs its prime time programming for only two hours on Monday
through Friday evenings, compared to the three hours on Monday through
Saturdays and four hours on Sunday nights programmed by the three
longest-established networks, ABC,
CBS and NBC. This "common prime"
scheduling (which was originated by Fox when it launched its prime
time schedule in April 1987, and later adopted by CW predecessors The
UPN when they launched in January 1995) allows the option for
affiliates to air either a local newscast, syndicated programming or
both during the 10:00–11:00 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific Time) time
period. As with
The WB and UPN,
The CW does not run network
programming on Saturday nights – even though it maintains a
syndicated children's program block on Saturday mornings – allowing
affiliates to run syndicated programs, sports, movies or network
programs that were preempted from earlier in the week because of
special programming carried by the station, in the 8:00–10:00 p.m.
(Eastern and Pacific) time period (
MyNetworkTV also does not carry any
weekend prime time programming, having turned network time on Saturday
evenings over to its affiliates in March 2007 ).
The CW is also tied with
NBC (if its morning news program _Today _ is
not counted) for the fewest daytime hours programmed by any of the
major broadcast networks, running only one hour of programming each
weekday afternoon (compared to 4 1⁄2 daytime hours on
three hours on ABC). The CW, unlike the "Big Four" broadcast networks,
also does not air any national newscasts , network-supplied sports or
late-night programming .
Because of these factors, The CW's affiliates handle the
responsibility of programming non-network time periods, with the
majority of its stations filling those slots mainly with syndicated
programming. However, some of the network's affiliates broadcast their
own local news and/or sports programs (either produced by the station
itself or through outsourcing agreements with an affiliate of another
network). Many affiliates also carry telecasts of basketball ,
football and in some cases, other collegiate sporting events (such as
baseball or hockey ) that are produced by syndicators such as American
Sports Network and
Raycom Sports , while a few (mainly those owned by
Tribune Broadcasting, such as former Chicago affiliate WGN-TV) carry
games from local teams of major professional sports leagues such as
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball and the NBA .
Like its predecessors
UPN and by technicality,
The WB (as none of
Tribune Broadcasting's WB stations were considered to be O&Os since
Time Warner held majority ownership of that network),
The CW does not
have owned-and-operated stations in any of the three largest U.S.
television markets – New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. The
network's largest owned-and-operated station is CBS-owned
Philadelphia , which also became UPN's largest O&O after Chris-Craft
Industries (which sold most of its
UPN stations, including its
affiliates in New York City and Los Angeles , to Fox Television
Stations in 2001 ) had its ownership stake in that network acquired by
Viacom in March 2000 (neither
UPN nor the DuMont Television Network
had an O a similar situation arose with DuMont's O&O in Los Angeles,
present-day CW affiliate
KTLA – which had disaffiliated from the
network in 1948 shortly after the FCC ruled that it and WDTV in
KDKA-TV , a CW corporate cousin through CBS
Corporation), to be O
CBS Corporation owns secondary stations – both
independents – in two of the three markets,
KCAL-TV in Los Angeles
WLNY-TV in the New York City market (however, while KCAL was owned
CBS at the network's launch, WLNY was not acquired by
2011; neither station carries CW programming, though, because of the
network's affiliation deals with Tribune-owned stations in those
markets, and in the latter case, WLNY's over-the-air signal does not
serve the entire New York City market – resulting in most residents
in the metropolitan area receiving the station mainly through cable or
satellite – due to being licensed to the
Long Island community of
Riverhead , restricting its transmitter from being located more than
15 miles (24 km) from its city of license under FCC regulations).
The WB and
UPN (the latter network's founding owners,
Chris-Craft and Viacom, both had their own station groups that formed
UPN's core stations at its launch), only one of The CW's co-owners –
CBS Corporation – maintains ownership of the network's
owned-and-operated stations (
Time Warner does not have a station group
of its own, although its
Turner Broadcasting System division does own
Atlanta independent station
WPCH-TV , which does not carry CW
programming because of the network's affiliation with CBS-owned WUPA).
Digital Multicasting And Cable Television
Unlike the other major networks,
The CW distributes its programming
in small and certain mid-sized markets throughout the United States
(generally those ranked among the bottom 110 Nielsen media markets )
The CW Plus , a separate national feed that is carried on a
mixture of full-power and low-power stations in some markets, and
cable-only outlets and digital subchannel affiliations on major
network stations in markets that do not have enough commercial
stations to support a standalone CW affiliate (several of The CW
Plus's digital subchannel outlets originally operated as cable-only
affiliates at the network's launch). The service offers its own master
schedule of syndicated and brokered programming acquired by the
network (including some feature films and infomercials ) during
non-network programming hours, although some CW Plus affiliates may
also run local newscasts produced by a major network affiliate.
The WB previously had two cable-only affiliate
WGN America , the national superstation feed of
WGN-TV at the
time, from January 1995 to October 1999 and network-operated The WB
100+ Station Group (the direct predecessor to
The CW Plus), which was
formed in September 1998 and had several of its cable-only outlets
The CW Plus at the CW network's launch. Not all of the network's
cable-only affiliates were CW Plus outlets,
WT05 in Toledo, Ohio
offered its own schedule of syndicated programs during non-network
hours that was programmed by its then-owner
Block Communications ,
which also operates that market's major cable provider Buckeye
WT05 now exists as "CW13," having been converted into a
digital subchannel of
Gray Television -owned ABC affiliate
October 2014). Though
The CW is the only network with a station group
that includes cable-only outlets, it is actually one of only three
networks that have had cable-only stations within its affiliate body
MyNetworkTV currently has
Fort Myers, Florida , while ABC
formerly had a cable-only affiliate in
Winchester, Virginia -based TV3
Winchester until Gray shut the channel down in December 2013).
The CW does not produce any national news content, while the majority
of its affiliates do not have their own news operations. As of April
2017 , the network currently has only eight affiliates that produce
their own local news programming, most of which were carry-overs from
WPIX in New York City and
KTLA in Los Angeles
started their news departments as independent stations and/or during
early affiliations with other networks including DuMont;
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina started its news operation as a Fox
Indianapolis (which became a CW affiliate on
January 1, 2015) started its news operation as an ABC affiliate before
CBS in 1956;
Washington, D.C. has their
newscasts based from the studios of CBS6 in Richmond, VA while all
reporters are based out of the Tribune DC bureau, and
WSFL-TV in Miami use non-traditional formats (in
the form of a newsreel -style program known as _NewsFix_).
the largest number of weekly hours devoted to local news programming
of any CW affiliate with 66½ hours each week.
Four other CW-affiliated stations maintained in-house news
operations, but have since disaffiliated from the network or
discontinued in-house production:
WGN-TV in Chicago has maintained a news department since it
launched as a
CBS affiliate in 1948; the station – which, along with
KTLA and WPIX, transitioned into a news-intensive
outlet during its tenure with
The CW – retains a news-heavy format
after disaffiliating from the network in September 2016;
Tribune Broadcasting ownership,
Boston produced an
in-house 10:00 p.m. newscast, which was replaced in December 2006 with
one produced by then-
NBC affiliate (now independent) WHDH , after
WLVI to that station's longtime owner Sunbeam Television
Baja California , Mexico (serving the San
Diego market) retained the news department it launched in 1999 as a
Fox affiliate when it joined
The CW in August 2008; XETV's news
department shut down on March 31, 2017, following the earlier
announcement that the CW affiliation in
San Diego would move to a
* In April 2012,
Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa broadcast a morning
news and talk program, which transitioned from an in-house production
to a production of ABC affiliate
WOI-DT on April 11, 2016, as a result
of Nexstar Broadcasting's acquisition of KCWI.
News programming on CW affiliates – if the station carries any –
is often outsourced to another major network affiliate in the market,
especially if they are operated as part of a duopoly or management
agreement , such as Tribune's respective CW-Fox duopolies of KWGN-TV
KTVI in St. Louis (the Fox stations in
both duopolies –
KTVI – were formerly owned by
Local TV ,
with Tribune-owned KWGN and KPLR respectively consolidating with those
stations through local marketing agreements formed as part of a wider
partnership involving Local TV, which Tribune bought outright in
2013); Evansville , Indiana affiliate
WTVW (which joined
The CW in
January 2013) and ABC affiliate
WEHT (a virtual duopoly formed through
Nexstar Broadcasting Group 's 2011 purchase of
WEHT and trade of WTVW
to partner group
Mission Broadcasting ); and the CW-
CBS O in
duopolies, these are typically an extension of a sister station's
morning newscast) and a prime time newscast within the 10:00–11:00
p.m. Eastern/Pacific (9:00–10:00 p.m. Central/Mountain) time slot.
Rarely (but more common on the few major-market CW affiliates with
in-house news departments), they may also include midday and/or early
List of The CW Television Network affiliates (table) ,
List of The CW Television Network affiliates (by U.S. state) , The CW
Plus , and
CBS Television Stations
As of March 2015 ,
The CW has eight owned-and-operated stations, and
current and pending affiliation agreements with 201 additional
television stations encompassing 46 states, the District of Columbia
and three U.S. possessions. Counting only conventional CW
affiliates and over-the-air affiliates of
The CW Plus, the network has
a combined national reach of 98.83% of all households in the United
States (or 308,824,309 Americans with at least one television set);
The CW the largest U.S. broadcast network by population
reach percentage. As of January 2016, four U.S. states (Delaware, New
Hampshire, New Jersey and Vermont) lack a locally licensed CW
affiliate, largely due to a lack of a need for a local affiliate as
those states are located within the broadcast ranges of stations in
nearby states. Delaware is served by
Philadelphia O the largest
subchannel-only CW affiliate by market size, as of May 31, 2017, is
KFMB-TV DT2 in San Diego, California .
Sinclair Broadcast Group
Sinclair Broadcast Group is the largest operator of CW
stations by numerical total, owning or providing services to 24
CW-affiliated stations, nine subchannel-only affiliates and one
cable-only affiliate, covering 17% of all U.S. television markets;
Tribune Broadcasting is the largest operator of CW stations in terms
of overall market reach, owning or providing services to thirteen CW
stations (including its three largest affiliates in New York City, Los
Angeles and Chicago), covering 28% of the U.S.
On the day of the network launch announcement,
The CW immediately
announced it had reached ten-year affiliation agreements with Tribune
CBS Television Stations. Tribune originally committed
16 stations that were previously affiliated with
The WB (including its
flagship broadcast stations
WGN-TV in Chicago,
KTLA in Los Angeles and
WPIX in New York City; another committed station,
KSWB-TV in San Diego
, joined Fox in August 2008, and two others, WLVI-TV in
Albany, New York were respectively sold by Tribune to Sunbeam
Freedom Communications shortly after the network
CBS committed 11 of its
UPN stations (including WKBD
WPSG in Philadelphia, KBHK-TV (now KBCW ) in San Francisco
WUPA in Atlanta). These stations combined to reach 48% of all
television households in the United States. Both companies also owned
UPN and WB-affiliated stations that did not join
The CW in
overlapping markets (such as
Dallas ). As
part of its affiliation agreement with the network, the Tribune
Company agreed to divest its ownership interest in
The WB (a move it
made partly to avoid shouldering shutdown costs for The WB) and did
not acquire an equity stake in The CW.
The network stated that it would eventually reach 95% of all U.S.
television households. In markets where separate affiliates of both
The WB operated, only one station became a CW affiliate.
Executives were on record as preferring the "strongest" stations among
The WB and UPN's existing affiliates. As one example, the new
network's first affiliate outside the core group of Tribune and
Charlotte (which was later acquired by Fox
Television Stations and converted into a Fox O&O in July 2013), was
Atlanta O there were only a few markets (such as
Fort Lauderdale , Boston,
Charlotte and Atlanta)
where the WB and
UPN affiliates were both relatively strong in terms
of local overall viewership. For example, one of the earliest
affiliates to be announced outside the core group,
WKCF in Orlando,
Florida , had not only been The WB's highest-rated affiliate for the
virtual entirety of that network's run, but had also been the fourth
highest-rated television station in
Central Florida .
Nearly all of The CW's affiliates were formerly affiliated with UPN
or The WB, with very few having been independent stations or
affiliates of other networks prior to joining the network; a notable
exception was Las Vegas affiliate
KVCW , which had been a fairly
successful independent before joining The CW. Although it was
generally understood that
The CW was a merger of
UPN and The WB, the
new network's creation was not structured as a merger in the legal
sense. Rather, it was one new network launching at the same time that
two others shut down, although it did assume certain programming
content, operations and management from its predecessors. As such, The
CW was not obligated by existing affiliations with
The WB and UPN; it
had to negotiate from scratch with individual stations. As a result,
in several markets, the CW affiliation is on a local station different
from either the former WB and
UPN stations (for example, the CW
affiliation in Las Vegas ended up on KVCW, instead of former WB
affiliate KVMY or now-defunct former
UPN affiliate KTUD-CA ). The
network has also affiliated with some digital subchannels , usually
those launched by a local Big Four affiliate as a new service, in
several other markets – especially if fewer than six commercial
television stations existed at the time of affiliation, requiring The
CW to carry its programming on a subchannel by default (for example,
The CW opted to affiliate with a subchannel of WKRC-TV in Cincinnati
– which has only five commercial full-power stations – instead of
former WB affiliate
WSTR-TV , which instead became an affiliate of
Because of the availability of "instant duopoly" digital subchannels
that will likely be easily available on cable and satellite, and the
overall lack of a need to settle for a secondary affiliation with
shows aired in problematic timeslots that would subject the
timeshifted programs to lower average viewership in certain markets,
The CW and
MyNetworkTV launched with far greater national
coverage than that enjoyed by
The WB when they both launched
in January 1995. UPN, for several years, had affiliation gaps in the
top 30 markets, and by 2005 managed to cover only 86% of the country.
This resulted in secondary affiliations with other networks and the
resulting diluted ratings when programs were shown out of their
intended timeslots, or the lack of the program airing at all (a
problem experienced by many fans of the _
Star Trek _ franchise with
_Star Trek: Voyager _ and _Star Trek: Enterprise _).
2006 United States broadcast TV realignment
The announcement of
The CW caused the largest single shakeup in U.S.
broadcast television since the affiliation alliance between Fox and
New World Communications in 1994 (as well as a separate alliance with
Burnham Broadcasting that began a year later) and the subsequent
The WB the following year. While The CW's debut
affected more markets, it likely did not cause the same degree of
viewer confusion, as no affiliates of the four major networks dropped
those affiliations to join
The CW (some "Big Four" affiliations did
change at this time, but for unrelated reasons).
The WB and
the first major television networks to shut down since the collapse of
DuMont Television Network
DuMont Television Network in August 1955, although other small
broadcast television networks have also ceased operations over the
It became clear that Fox Television Stations, which purchased several
UPN-affiliated stations from that network's former co-owner
Chris-Craft Industries in 2002, would be affected. Its
in five major markets (New York City , Los Angeles , Chicago ,
Washington, D.C. and
Houston ) did not receive affiliations with The
CW, due to the agreement with Tribune, and Fox made it clear it would
not even seek carriage of the network for its
UPN stations in four
other markets. All network logos and references were quickly removed
UPN stations. Shortly thereafter, Fox parent News
Corporation (which spun off its American media and entertainment
21st Century Fox as part of the company's July 2013
corporate separation) announced that it would launch MyNetworkTV, a
programming service meant to fill the two nightly prime time hours
UPN would vacate on the network's Fox-owned affiliates after The
CW launched. Fox also offered the service to stations owned by other
In markets where
The WB and
UPN were carried on separate stations,
one of the two local outlets was left out in the merger; most of the
stations that did not join
The CW had signed affiliation agreements
MyNetworkTV instead, while others elected to become independent
stations. Some stations (mainly digital subchannels, some cable
channels that were formerly part of
The WB 100+ Station Group, and
struggling low-power stations) which did not affiliate with either
network opted instead to shut down permanently.
Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable subscribers around the country were unable to
watch CW programming when the network debuted, as stations in several
markets were not able to reach carriage deals with the provider to
distribute the local affiliates. In markets like Charleston , South
Carolina; El Paso , Texas;
Honolulu , Hawaii; Palm Springs ,
California; Beaumont ; Waco and Corpus Christi , Texas, where The CW
is broadcast on a digital subchannel of one of the market's major
network affiliates, there were unsuccessful attempts in getting Time
Warner Cable to carry the subchannel affiliates (CW co-parent Time
Warner had owned
Time Warner Cable until it spun off the provider into
a separate company in 2009).
Some affiliates eventually signed carriage deals with Time Warner
Cable, but not all of the CW affiliates received carriage on the
provider's basic cable tiers (for example, Syracuse, New York
WSTQ-LP can only be viewed on digital cable channel 266 in
the Ithaca market). Currently, the largest market without a known
affiliate is the Johnstown –Altoona market, whose closest CW station
Pittsburgh , which is carried on TWC's Johnstown
and Altoona area systems;
WPCW was originally targeted to serve that
area before it refocused its programming toward the
in the late 1990s.
On February 2, 2007,
KFDM made its
CW-affiliated subchannel available to
Time Warner Cable customers in
the market on channel 10. On April 20, 2007, ABC affiliate
El Paso, Texas
El Paso, Texas began broadcasting its CW-affiliated subchannel on Time
Warner Cable channel 13. On April 21, 2007,
KCWQ-LP made its
broadcast debut on channel 5 on
Time Warner Cable in the Palm Springs
Pappas Telecasting Bankruptcy
One of the network's major affiliate groups, Pappas Telecasting
Companies , filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for thirteen of its
television stations on May 10, 2008. Within the petition, Pappas
specifically cited the network's low ratings and lackluster
performance as one of many complications that had forced it to make
the filing. Several of the stations have since been sold either in
business transactions with representatives involved in Pappas's
bankruptcy proceedings or via station auction processes as the company
winds down operations.
Although Pappas had originally stated that none of its stations would
be affected at all by the closing, two stations owned by the company
that were formerly affiliated with
The CW have ceased operations. On
May 29, 2008,
Yakima, Washington affiliate
KCWK (which served the
south-central portion of that state) shut down and the station's
offices were closed, leaving that area without locally based CW
programming and forcing cable and satellite providers to carry Los
KTLA in order to provide the network's programming
to their subscribers. The situation was resolved in April 2009, when
Fisher Communications announced that its
CBS affiliates in the area,
KIMA-TV and satellite station
KEPR-TV , would carry the network
through digital subchannel affiliations.
Columbus, Georgia lost its CW affiliation in
April 2009 to a subchannel of
WLTZ because of the
network's concerns about Pappas' financial state;
ceased operations in June 2010 as it was unable to compete in the
market as an independent station; it later resumed operations in
August 2012, as an affiliate of
WeatherNation TV (it is now an Antenna
Marianas Media Bankruptcy
Marianas Media signed on
KTKB-LD in Hagåtña,
Guam as a CW affiliate
on April 20, 2009, becoming the U.S. territory's fifth commercial
television outlet. However, competition from other stations in the
island combined with financial problems at Marianas, which was running
the station under a local marketing agreement with the troubled KM
Communications Inc. , forced the station off the air on March 31,
2011. The station resumed operations the following year.
Tribune\'s Relations With
The CW And Their De-emphasis Of The
Tribune Media has solid affiliation deals with
The CW on
several of its stations, it also maintains a strong affiliation
alliance with Fox. But with new management and ownership taking over
Tribune in 2008, it was apparent that the company would switch one of
its CW-affiliated stations to Fox (at least those in markets without a
Fox owned-and-operated station or a former O&O that was acquired by
Local TV, which Tribune later acquired in 2013 ), adding to more
questions surrounding The CW's future. In a March 2008 seminar by
Tribune's then-chairman and CEO
Sam Zell , it was revealed that the
San Diego outlet
KSWB-TV would switch its affiliation from
The CW to Fox that August, with KSWB assuming the Fox affiliation from
XETV-TV , which had been a Fox charter affiliate since that network's
October 1986 inception. XETV (which is licensed to
Tijuana , Baja
California , Mexico under the ownership of
Grupo Televisa but whose
U.S. operations are programmed by Bay City Television ) was not
informed of Zell's deal until it was made public.
After the news broke, XETV planned on suing to prevent the switch on
the grounds that it would violate an affiliation contract that XETV
had with Fox that was not set to expire until 2010. However, on July
2, 2008, XETV announced that it would join
The CW on August 1 (the
same day that KSWB became a Fox affiliate) and rebrand as "San Diego
6". Though twelve of Tribune's thirteen other CW-affiliated stations
have remained with the network, all of them began to de-emphasize the
network from their branding (e.g., "CW 11") in favor of one with a
stronger local identity. On-air branding that excised the CW name
began being implemented by the stations in July 2008, either on-air
(in the case of KWGN-TV) or through their websites (as part of a
redesign for all of the Tribune stations' websites). Some of these
stations eventually began reincorporating the CW branding starting in
2011, such as KDAF/Dallas, KIAH/
KRCW-TV /Portland, Oregon
Tribune Company president and CEO
Peter Liguori said in a May 2014
discussion at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit that
he was "not pleased with where the CW is ," stating that the network
"should not program to people who don't watch television." Liguori
also stated that he would consider collaborating with the network in
regards to improving its programming slate, possibly by incorporating
programs from the company's Tribune Studios unit (a production
division which launched shortly after Liguori was appointed president
of Tribune in November 2013) onto the network, as well as having
Tribune play a larger role in The CW's management.
Goldman Sachs ' 23rd Annual Communacopia Conference in
September 2014, Les Moonves acknowledged that Tribune had been looking
for more input in how the network is programmed and noted that Liguori
is a former programmer (having previously served in executive roles at
Fox, FX and
Discovery Communications ), saying that " would like to
participate. He has some good ideas. He's part of our team. Will there
be some change in how the CW is structured going forward? I don't
know." Moonves went on to reiterate that Tribune is "a very important
part of future" (considering that Tribune had recently acquired the
CBS affiliation for its
Indianapolis station and then-CW affiliate
WTTV , following disagreements between
CBS and longtime affiliate
WISH-TV, which would eventually take over the CW affiliation in
January 2015, over reverse compensation demands by the network).
In an October 2014 interview with _Broadcasting the company cited the
loss of the
UPN affiliations on its stations in St. Louis (
Columbia, South Carolina (
WZRB ) and
Jackson, Mississippi (
when that network shut down in favor of
The CW in 2006, as much of
UPN's programming consisted of minority-targeted programs that Roberts
felt were compatible with their stations' target audiences (though the
stations have since recovered from this setback; additionally, its
Evansville, Indiana ,
WAZE-TV , had instead affiliated with
The WB prior to 2006, as it was owned by South Central Communications
until February 2007). The company had also been hit with lawsuits from
Warner Bros. Television,
Twentieth Television and
Distribution over its failure to pay fees for syndicated programming;
Roberts eventually settled with Twentieth but lost the Warner Bros.
On March 24, 2011, the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
canceled WAZE's license for Roberts' failure to construct its digital
transmitter facilities. However, the station continued to broadcast
via its three-station analog translator network.
On February 20, 2012,
Roberts Broadcasting announced that it was
exploring the possibility of selling one or all four of its television
stations in order to raise enough cash to pay off its creditors. On
October 22, 2012, Roberts announced that it had sold WRBJ to the
Trinity Broadcasting Network ; the deal was approved by a bankruptcy
court on January 17, 2013, with TBN officially taking over
operational control of WRBJ five months later on May 24 (
The CW would
return to the Jackson market on the second digital subchannel of CBS
WJTV in September 2013). On January 3, 2013, the repeater
network of WAZE ceased operations; later that month on January 28,
WTVW hurriedly joined The CW, in order to maintain
the network in the Evansville area.
On December 2, 2013, Roberts filed to sell
WZRB to Radiant Light
Ministries, a subsidiary of
Tri-State Christian Television , for $2
million. On December 4, Roberts also filed to sell
WRBU to TCT for
$5.5 million. However, on December 11, the United States bankruptcy
court gave initial approval for a plan by Roberts's creditors to
instead transfer WRBU,
WZRB and the WAZE repeaters to a trust with Ion
Media Networks (a creditor in Roberts's chapter 11 bankruptcy
proceedings) as its beneficiary, with Roberts' attorney subsequently
stating that Ion would purchase the stations for $7.75 million.
Roberts had earlier proposed an alternate plan that would have had
only the WAZE repeaters be transferred to the trust, which would have
allowed the sale of
WZRB to TCT.
The CW affiliation in
Columbia moved to
WKTC (with MyNetworkTV, which the station had
already been affiliated with, being relegated to a secondary
affiliation) in March 2014, after temporarily remaining on
its conversion into an
Ion Television O&O the previous month.
The CW launched in September 2006, the network began branding
most of its affiliates using a combination of "CW" or "The CW", and at
the affiliate's choice, either the station's channel number (for
example, Nashville affiliate
WNAB is branded as "CW58" and
KSTW brands as "CW11") or the name of the city or region it serves.
Examples of the latter include
Philadelphia O examples include WNLO
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York ,
Columbus, Ohio and
Omaha, Nebraska ,
KXVO uses the dual brandings of "CW15" and
"Omaha's CW". In
Honolulu, Hawaii , KHON-DT2 was originally branded as
"Hawaii's CW 93" (the "93" refers to the subchannel's cable channel
position on Oceanic
Time Warner Cable), before it was shortened to
"Hawaii's CW" in September 2014. The branding once used by
WKRC-DT2/Cincinnati, Ohio was "CinCW", a portmanteau with the common
nickname for the city, "Cincy" (it now brands as "
The CW Cincinnati").
With the exceptions of
WXCW /Fort Myers and (to a somewhat lesser
extent) XETV/San Diego, all CW affiliates not owned by Tribune usually
brand themselves using a version of the network logo. Mobile, Alabama
CW affiliate WBPG, then known as "The Gulf Coast's CW" changed its
call letters to WFNA in December 2009 and used a similar approach
around their new call letters, before becoming known as "CW 55" in
September 2012 and adopting a style reflective of The CW's branding
techniques once again.
WISH-TV in Indianapolis, as it had during its
CBS affiliation, continues to brand solely with its channel number and
calls as "
The CW provides video on demand access for delayed viewing of full
episodes of the network's programming through various means, including
via its website at CW
TV.com and its mobile app for iOS and Android
devices (with programs streamable over 3G and
WiFi networks), a
traditional VOD service – called
The CW on Demand – that is
available on most traditional cable and
IPTV providers, and through
content deals with
Hulu , iTunes and
The most recent episodes of the network's shows are usually made
The CW app and
The CW on Demand the day after their
original broadcast. However, due to restrictions imposed through its
deal with the streaming service, streaming of the most recent episode
of any CW program on
Hulu is restricted until eight days after their
initial broadcast, in order to encourage live or same-week (via both
DVR and cable on demand) viewing, with day-after-air streaming on
either service limited to subscribers of Hulu's subscription service.
The CW previously imposed a three-day delay after an episode's
original airdate before making its programs available on its website
and through the
Hulu subscription service (then known as
However, changes implemented by the network on March 15, 2012 in an
effort to reduce copyright infringement of its programming content
through illegal streaming and downloading internet platforms resulted
in that delay being reduced to eight hours after a program's original
airing through both services. Like the video-on-demand television
services provided by the other U.S. broadcast networks,
The CW on
Demand disables fast forwarding for content provided through the
On October 13, 2011, the network entered into digital distribution
deals with streaming services
Netflix and Hulu. The four-year Netflix
agreement allows its customers to instantly watch more than 700 hours
of previous seasons of The CW's current scripted series, while Hulu
inked a five-year deal, giving the streaming site access to next-day
content from four of the five major networks (with the exception of CW
sister network CBS).
On October 24, 2012,
The CW entered into its first video-on-demand
distribution deal with a pay television provider through an agreement
Comcast that allows customers to watch the four most-recent
episodes of the network's primetime shows on the cable provider 's
Xfinity On Demand service, along with next-day episode content. The CW
On Demand, which is accessible to subscribers at no additional charge,
Comcast Xfinity systems nationwide on October 25.
THE CW HD
The CW's master feed is transmitted in
1080i high definition , with
all transmission of the network's programming moving to the format in
June 2012. All of the network's prime time programming has been
presented in HD since March 2012 (when _America's Next Top Model_
became the final CW program to convert to the format), with the
exception of certain specials produced prior to that point (such as
_Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer _, a holiday special carried over
to the network from The WB) and select movie presentations. The
network's Saturday morning
One Magnificent Morning , is
also broadcast in HD; however, it carries the daytime talk show _The
Robert Irvine Show _ in enhanced definition widescreen because of
The network is available in HD on most of its full-power affiliates,
while availability of high definition content on subchannel-only or
cable-exclusive affiliates varies by market; in some of these cases,
the over-the-air signal is available only in standard definition (a
16:9 widescreen feed transmitted in
480i SD is presented on some
over-the-air affiliates to meet minimum requirements for
presentation), with the station offering an exclusive high definition
feed to cable and satellite providers. Some affiliates transmit CW
720p HD due to technical considerations if the network
is carried on a digital subchannel of a station affiliated with
another major network or if a primary feed CW affiliate carries more
than one subchannel. Since June 2012,
The CW Plus feed is also
transmitted in HD, and the network has asked those affiliates to carry
it in high definition wherever possible.
With ABC beginning to use 16:9 framing for all of their graphics on
September 1, 2016, The CW, along with
CBS are currently the last two
major networks that continues to use 4:3 framing for all graphics
(except for Sports programs on
CBS and some CW affiliates that offer
MARKETING AND MULTIMEDIA
The CW Television Network is involved in both linear broadcast and
digital media, in various forms:
* On January 14, 2007,
The CW began streaming full-length episodes
of several of its programs on the CW
* On December 15, 2006,
CBS Corporation revived its record label,
CBS Records , whose artists' music is featured during CW programs; as
with music from other labels, albums and individual songs from CBS
Records artists are also made available for purchase on the network's
* In addition to the network's dedicated streaming application
available via the iTunes App Store and
Google Play ,
The CW previously
maintained a separate first-person shooter app called _Nikita Spy
Training Module_ that was used to promote the 2010–13 drama series
_Nikita _. The network also previously marketed _CW City Wize_, a
mobile app that has since been discontinued, which was sponsored by
Target , highlighting businesses and video highlights of the network's
Monday and Tuesday night programming during the 2009–10 season.
* On December 1, 2011,
The CW began offering "CWingo", an
interactive game resembling Bingo , that is accessed by using Facebook
to sign into the CW community. Starting with an episode of _The
Vampire Diaries_, viewers could click on tiles showing a scene from an
episode as that scene appeared, with the matching of five tiles in a
row meant CWingo if revealed by the user. Winners could become
eligible for prizes, and advertisers sponsored the games.
* CW Seed (originally called CWD or the CW Digital Studio) is a
production arm that provides original content and reruns created
exclusively for digital platforms focused in the areas of animation,
game shows, comedy and digital personalities. It exists as a sub-site
on CWTV.com, but the network is adding more interactivity to the
service, opening up for feedback from viewers and adding more social
engagement. In 2014, a separate website for CW Seed was launched at
cwseed.com. Web content produced by CW Seed includes _Vixen _, _Stupid
Hype _, _I Ship It _, _How to Be a Vampire _, _JoJoHead _, _Prom Queen
_ and _Husbands _ (the latter of which was picked up by The CW
Television Network for its summer 2013 schedule). Reruns on CW Seed
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