It’s easy to take the streaming availability of network shows for granted, whether Hulu’s ability to screen most-episodes next day, or Netflix’s new season availability ahead of premieres, but CW viewers in particular are in for good news and bad. CW shows will become available on Netflix much, much faster, but at the cost of their Hulu availability.

An in-depth report from Variety unveiled a new CW arrangement with Netflix in the works, one which would see full CW seasons made available to stream on Netflix inside of two weeks after their finale airings. That said, The CW will end its 2011 in-season deal with Hulu, which made available the five most recent episodes, the latest arriving each morning after airing.

At the very least, in-season streaming access for CW shows will still operate through the advertising-supported website “and its affiliate stations’ VOD deals with various MVPD providers,” still likely limited to the most recent five episodes. The CW evidently hopes “tightened availability will boost streaming viewership via the CW’s website, which in turn could bring in more advertising revenue.”

Intriguingly, Hulu noted that most of its CW viewership comes from Arrow and The Flash, though fans of both series frequently complained about the availability of only five episodes.

The deal itself is expected to announce later this week, but is immediate access to full CW seasons on Netflix worth losing their Hulu availability?


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