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ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia In Talks to Sell The CW

Screenshot from The CW Network YouTube

ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia In Talks to Sell The CW

By Movieguide® Staff 

The CW channel, which ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia own, is reportedly for sale. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, one possible buyer is the TV giant Nexstar, which owns 199 local TV stations and cable channels NewsNation and The Hill. 

THR reported

The CW previously had a long-standing output deal with Netflix that helped series like Riverdale and All American reach broader audiences and, ultimately, grow on linear. That pact ended in 2019 as Warner Bros. TV and CBS Studios shifted library deals to their respective streamers, HBO Max and Paramount+. Also impacting the profit margins on originals is the fact that foreign sales have almost entirely ended as CBS Studios and Warners look to retain those rights for their respective streamers.

The end of the Netflix output deal and loss of revenue from foreign sales created a larger concern for the studios that previously generated revenue not from linear, but from Netflix and international sales.

The CW also hosts several DC Comics universe shows, which both CBS Studios and WarnerMedia provided. 

The CW CEO Mark Pedowitz released a memo addressed to staff, noting that it is “too early to speculate what might happen.”

“First, as many of you are aware, over the past year or so, this transformative time in our industry has led to a series of business activity across media and content companies,” he wrote. “Given that environment right now, ViacomCBS and Warner Bros. are exploring strategic opportunities to optimize the value of their joint venture in The CW Network.”

“So, what does this mean for us right now? It means we must continue to do what we do best, make The CW as successful and vibrant as we have always done,” he added. “We have a lot of work ahead of us — with more original programming than ever, this season’s expansion to Saturday night, our growing digital and streaming platforms — and we thrive when we come together and build The CW together.”

According to the THR, The CW targets an 18-34 demographic, which resulted in many shows with excessive violence. However, more recently, the channel released the positive, family-friendly TV movie, THE WALTONS: HOMECOMING, and a new series called SUPERMAN & LOIS which features prayer in the first episode. 

Read Pedowitz’s full letter below

To Our Valued CW Team

I am sure you have seen the recent speculation in the press around The CW, so I wanted to take the opportunity to address this with you directly and share with you what we know.

First, as many of you are aware, over the past year or so, this transformative time in our industry has led to a series of business activity across media and content companies. Given that environment right now, ViacomCBS and Warner Bros. are exploring strategic opportunities to optimize the value of their joint venture in The CW Network.

It’s too early to speculate what might happen, but we promise to keep you updated as we learn more.

So, what does this mean for us right now? It means we must continue to do what we do best, make The CW as successful and vibrant as we have always done. We have a lot of work ahead of us – with more original programming than ever, this season’s expansion to Saturday night, our growing digital and streaming platforms – and we thrive when we come together and build The CW together. 

Mark