The CW owns some of the most lucrative and youth-skewing TV programs on TV. A lot of this has to do with their well-liked DC TV shows, which have only grown in popularity since The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow first premiered. Hulu used to be the former home of the CW's lineup, but after some negotiations fell through with the streaming outlet, it now looks like Netflix has swooped in and signed a deal for the next stream of episodes. This is in some ways good and some ways bad news, depending on how you've consumed The Flash and other CW shows in the past.
If you are watching on network TV, the new deal shouldn't change your viewing experience at all, but if you have been catching up on the CW's shows on Netflix, the new deal will give you the opportunity to watch new episodes much quicker than in past seasons. The deal speeds up the timeline, according to Variety, so that new seasons of the CW's shows will hit the streaming service only two weeks after the end of the season finishes up. This is extremely good news for Netflix users. Up until recently, it seemed as if the CW's deal with Netflix would be ending altogether, so it's just good to know the streaming service will be keeping the episodes. Getting them sooner is just an added bonus.
On the flip side, this will be pretty bad for Hulu users. In the past, episodes of the CW's shows have been available pretty soon after they air on the network, popping up the day after they air on the original network. However, Hulu was only able to allow subscribers to see the most recent five episodes, per the company's deal with the CW. Reports indicate that Hulu wanted lengthier, quicker access for its users and the network decided to make a different deal with Netflix, instead.
Obviously, the Netflix deal means that recent episodes won't be as easy to access the day after they premiere. The Hulu deal is ending, and the Netflix deal that will take its place obviously won't include new episodes until the season has already finished. Video On Demand and the CWTV.com will still offer the ability for users to catch up on the five most recent episodes, with commercials, of course. Those options are not as attractive for those who have cut cable packages. Also, if you are a commercial-free Hulu subscriber, watching on the CWTV.com is certainly less enticing. The Hulu deal is widely expected to expire in December, inconveniently around the time that the CW's programming returns to the schedule for the 2016-2017 TV season.
Hulu was in talks with the CW to renew the current contract, but reports indicate that the subscription streaming service wanted to give its users access to more than five recent episodes of the show at a time. Clearly both sides were not able to get on the same page. Still, at least there will be some episodes of the CW's programs available on a streaming service in the US. Just a few months ago, we were worried the network's shows might stop being available on any platform.