The CW has created an empire of superhero TV series thanks to The Flash and Arrow setting a solid foundation for shows like Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl to fit in. The network has been making big changes lately as to how its content will be available streaming. A brand new deal with Netflix has some advantages as well as disadvantages for viewers who like to stream their superheroes online rather than watch live. The good news is that the latest seasons will be available for binge-watching on Netflix only eight days after the finale as announced today by the streaming service; the bad news is that viewers no longer have the Hulu option of watching the latest episodes shortly after they air.
Recent contract renegotiations meant that The CW would either reach a new deal with Hulu for the rights to shows for the foreseeable future or move to another streaming service altogether. Hulu had reportedly wanted to make more than the usual five episodes available at a given time; an agreement between the network and the service clearly never worked out. The CW moved its business to Netflix, costing Hulu the rights to shows like The Flash and Arrow as well as costing streamers the option of keeping up on the shows in real time via Hulu.
For folks who watch The Flash and Arrow live on The CW every week, the switch from Hulu to Netflix shouldn't make any difference. For those who counted on Hulu to watch at their convenience or who happen to miss an episode, the choices for viewing are now more limited. Video On Demand and CWTV.com will provide alternatives for CW superhero fans who can't watch episodes as they air during primetime hours, but Hulu was easy to navigate and incredibly convenient. It looks like a lot of CW regulars are going to need to be especially vigilant about catching shows on time from now on.
Of course, the move from Hulu to Netflix isn't all doom and gloom for streamers. The third season of Arrow and the first season of The Flash didn't make it to Netflix until around the times of the Season 4 and Season 2 premieres in October 2015. There was no time for existing fans to do a refresher on the previous seasons, and there was no chance for Netflix subscribers to give the shows a try in time to tune in to the next seasons live. The deal with Netflix moving the release dates up to only eight days after season finales is a huge improvement on months of wait time.
Personally, I'm curious about whether or not the removal of Hulu as an option will affect ratings for The CW's superhero shows in the fall. Arrow and The Flash will be joined in primetime by the second seasons of Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, and all four shows will air on different nights. With huge crossovers in the works, the shows will definitely share plots and characters, and even the most diehard DC TV fans might have a hard time finding a way to sit down in front of The CW for four hours a week.
Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see when you can expect to see all of The CW's DC shows back on the airwaves in the not-too-distant future, and prepare to clear your nights or bookmark CWTV.com in your browser if you don't want to miss any of the superhero action for 2016 - 2017.