Netflix, the online streaming service, and CW Television Network are reportedly on the verge of inking a deal worth $1 billion.
The news of the deal comes courtesy of publication Variety, which reveals that the pact covers several popular TV shows from CW.
"Netflix and the CW are close to finalizing a megabucks new deal covering scripted series that significantly speeds up the availability of the shows to less than two weeks after each season ends on the network," reports Variety.
This suggests that Netflix will soon have an edge over rival Hulu, which previously had an exclusive contract with CW for select episodes of certain shows for five years. The said deal gave Hulu subscribers access to series from CW a day after they were aired.
The news about Netflix and CW joining hands comes as Hulu and CW are set to part ways in October. Whether Netflix will have the same exclusivity contract with CW as Hulu is not known.
According to the publication, Netflix's new deal with CW will allegedly start by end 2016. This timing would ensure that the new season of specific shows from CW would appear on Netflix in less than two weeks of the season finale being aired, rather than several months as is the case now for the service's subscribers.
At this juncture, it is not clear if CW or Netflix will have to grapple with restrictions for regions when it comes to airing episodes with this frequency. It is safer to make the assumption that this format will likely be applicable only for Netflix's' subscribers in the U.S. and users in other regions may have to contend with waiting a tad longer for episodes to be made available.
The Netflix-CW deal is also said to be for a five-year period and reportedly has the clause that will continue to give the former access to the latter's library for several years even after the season wrap of a show that has ended on CW.
The $1 billion deal also apparently covers only domestic rights to a show and not worldwide, according to the publication.
It is anticipated that CW and Netflix will make an official announcement sometime this week. Whether the partnership will signal a death knell for Hulu? Perhaps. After all, award winning shows such as Jane the Virgin and Crazy ex-Girlfriend will make its way to Netflix, leaving a vacuum in their absence. Moreover, popular shows such as Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow will be missing in action for Hulu subscribers.
This could possibly lead avid fans of the shows to switch loyalties from Hulu and subscribe to Netflix instead, which undoubtedly spells trouble for the former.