It seems like The CW could soon be sold off entirely or a major stake of it by ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia, the two parent companies currently holding 50-50% of stake from the network that produced shows like Arrow, The Flash, Batwoman, etc. And reports from trade websites indicate Nexstar Media Group as the potential suitors.
Fans of Arrowverse, Riverdale and many more shows need not be quick to worry as although Nexstar could potential become a major stake owner, ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia would retain a minor stake and remain onboard to provide programming for the network, as Variety states, yet it’s currently unclear which option the two corporate owners could opt. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the potential sell-off.
CBS and WarnerMedia’s joint venture (The ‘C’ from CBS and the ‘W’ from the latter) formed The CW in 2006 after the two giants signed off on a merger between the former UPN and the WB network. However, its TV shows have failed to be profitable in the US while generating sales via international streaming from shows like The Flash and Dynasty.
The CW only has Netflix to thank as its long deal helped shows like Riverdale thrive internationally. But the deal ended in 2019 and its library landed on HBO Max and Paramount+. As a result, the profits from international viewing dropped entirely while its output in the home ground hasn’t helped up the revenue.
Warners and CBS had originally planned to produce programming for the network on a 50-50 basis. It resulted in Greg Berlanti’s DC comics-based series like Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Superman & Lois etc. CBS on its part provided shows like Dynasty and Charmed.
The news comes amid WarnerMedia’s merger with Discovery so it will be interesting to see the changes it results in. Note, both media giants are yet to publicly address the potential sell-off.
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