WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS Explore Sale of The CW: What Does It Mean for Your Favorite Shows?

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Changes are on the horizon for The CW.

The fifth broadcast network has been put for sale by joint owners WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS, according to multiple reports.

Nexstar, the largest broadcaster in the U.S., is said to be in contention to land a deal to purchase the network.

Riverdale, Legacies, Charmed Still

There are other companies pursuing the purchase, but all signs are pointing to Nexstar landing a controlling stake in the outlet.

The news comes months after the network expanded to seven nights of programming, adding Saturdays into the mix for the first time.

“Becoming a seven-night-a-week network has been a long-standing goal for everyone here at The CW, and in an extremely tight broadcast environment, the ability to expand our primetime by two more hours each week is a dynamic shift that will be gladly welcomed by our clients and the agencies,” CW executive vice president Rob Tuck said when the decision was made last year.

Hope in Red - Legacies Season 2 Episode 16

The CW has never been profitable as a network, but owners found ways to keep the lights on by distributing the shows globally and on streaming.

Netflix, for example, gave the network a jolt of life in 2011 when it paid $1 billion for streaming rights to the networks shows, but the deal concluded several years ago.

Only the network's older shows (Legacies, Charmed, All American, and Riverdale) are still a part of the coveted deal.

In recent years, The CW has been keeping in-season stacking rights, allowing the entire seasons of its newer shows (Nancy Drew, Walker) to have their entire current seasons on the CW's digital platform for free with ads.

Micki's Goodbye - Walker Season 2 Episode 6

With WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS having their own streaming platforms, it made The CW a content farm, with the shows going to streaming services owned by parent companies.

This raises a lot of questions about the viability of the network in its current form, potentially meaning that its shows are all in jeopardy.

The CW has prided itself on renewing the bulk of its scripted slate for several years now, even shows that fail to register in traditional ratings.

More than other networks, The CW has looked at other metrics to establish revenue streams for its shows.

Rivervale Mystery - Riverdale Season 6 Episode 5

This could mean that we won't be getting renewal or cancellation decisions for its crop of shows earlier this year.

The CW has brought hits like Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries to the air in its 15-year existence.

The current shows on the network include All American, Legacies, Walker, All American Homecoming, Roswell New Mexico, and more.

What are your thoughts on the sale?

Making a Toast - All American Season 4 Episode 7

Are you ready for the potential demise of the network?

What do you think will happen?

Hit the comments below.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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The CW Quotes

Perenna: Jennifer’s powers are extraordinary, and I don’t say that lightly.
Lynn: She’s just like her father.
Perenna: No. Jennifer’s powers are beyond anything any of us have seen. Teaching her to control them has been both a joy and a challenge because I’ve never worked with anyone with gifts like that. Which is why I must caution you.
Lynn: What are you saying?
Perenna: I understand you’re upset and I understand you want your daughter back, but you must be very careful. If you push her further away and she retreats with her powers, with no real support system and no guidance, there will be consequences for us all.

Chad: Veronica, you little…
Veronica: I’m gonna stop you right there, Chad. Because whatever you think I am, doesn’t come close to what you are … which is scum. A worthless pathetic little worm. You stole money from your investors to, what, finance Copter Cab? But what a surprise, in the end you couldn’t pull it off. That’s your problem in a nutshell, you can’t land anything! You’ll never be an alpha, Chad. You’re a born beta.