Over the last several years under the skillful guidance of Network President, Mark Pedowitz, The CW has made a lot of gains in offering quality niche genre programming. It has also made significant strides in combatting its prior reputation for “Teen Programming.”
Pedowitz and The CW continue to make headway into the 21st century with their willingness to, as they put it, “Dare to Defy.” They dare to defy the ratings by recognizing that the system is antiquated and no longer (if it ever did) accurately represents what the average household is watching. They realize that a large portion of their viewers are much more likely to binge their shows or watch on a delay than to watch live. And they’ve also proven ready to defy the typical means of viewing by adding CW Seed to their digital side, providing brand new content there as well.
Now they just need to take their defiance to the next level. They need to place themselves as the forerunners in On Demand programming along with powerhouses like Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix. They need to transform the network into a hybrid between scheduled television and streaming services.
How well would The CW do if they were to offer their shows both at a scheduled weekly time AND “free” on demand on their own network? In this case, “free” would mean with commercials/advertising included just as if the audience were watching live even though they would actually be watching at a time of their own choosing. Global has gone to this format and has been quite successful with it.
In this way, a viewer could discover new shows, watch from the beginning, catch up, and begin to watch new episodes and the network itself would reap all the rewards rather than a third-party site such as Netflix.
Of course, Netflix streaming shows from The CW has been instrumental in helping to change the network’s “Teen Programming Only” reputation since everyone knows Netflix, more or less trusts its recommendations, pays attention to what’s trending there, and has no idea what network the show originally aired on. But still, the CW could certainly continue their partnership with Netflix – particularly in a global capacity – AND stream their own shows on demand. Why not? Anything is possible when you…dare to defy.