Four years ago, Netflix made a monumental deal with Disney that gave the streaming service first rights to all of the studio's films, including anything made under the Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars banners. Now, Netflix is looking to do something similar with the CW, edging close to a near $1 billion deal.
The new contract being worked out comes just as Hulu and the CW are looking to end their relationship, according to Variety. For the past five years, Hulu has had an exclusive deal with the CW that gave subscribers access to episodes from popular CW series the day after being aired. It's unclear whether the decision to not renew the same deal, which expires in October, was made on Hulu's behalf or if it had to do with Netflix's hefty offer for exclusivity, but more is expected to be announced about the deal later this week.
The new deal with Netflix, which would supposedly begin at the end of this year, would make it so that new seasons of CW shows appeared on the service less than two weeks after airing, instead of months after like they do now. Although there isn't confirmation from Netflix or the CW if this will be locked into regional restrictions, it's probably safe to assume that this will only work for Netflix subscribers in the United States. Polygon has reached out and will update as more information becomes available.
The offer from Netflix — a service that wasn't interested in pursuing an exclusive deal with the CW five years ago — just goes to prove how much the CW has improved over the past couple of years. The network now carries award winning programming like Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, as well as a slate of popular and celebrated DC universe shows like The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and now, Supergirl.
Netflix and the CW are expected to make a formal announcement about the deal later this week.
Update: Netflix formally announced its new deal with The CW today. Along with getting new seasons earlier than before, Netflix will be the exclusive home to all of The CW's series, including its three newest shows — Frequency, No Tomorrow and Riverdale.