The network behind the Arrowverse is officially up for sale. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, The CW is being shopped around to potential buyers. Co-owned by ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia, it’s said that local TV giant Nexstar is among those in line to potentially make the major purchase. Should this come to pass, it would mark a gigantic change for a major network that produces a ton of comic book-related TV. Not to mention a great deal of popular TV in general.
The CW was founded 15 years ago as a merger between UPN and The WB Network. The venture has reportedly never been profitable, but the financial end of things has become more complex. With both WarnerMedia (HBO Max) and ViacomCBS (Paramount+) prioritizing streaming, various revenue streams have dried up. This includes Netflix streaming licenses and international rights. As a result, it seems the two corporations are looking to cash out.
During its history, the network has been a haven for DC content. Of course, Arrow kicked off the Arrowverse, which has led to shows like The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman and others in a healthy shared universe. But let us not forget the long-running and very successful Smallville. CEO Mark Pedowitz confirmed the news in a company memo shortly after word of the sale began making the rounds.
Here is what Pedowitz said in his memo.
“First, as many of you are aware, over the past year or so, this transformative time in our industry has led to a series of business activity across media and content companies. Given that environment right now, ViacomCBS and Warner Bros. are exploring strategic opportunities to optimize the value of their joint venture in The CW Network.
It’s too early to speculate what might happen, but we promise to keep you updated as we learn more.
So, what does this mean for us right now? It means we must continue to do what we do best, make The CW as successful and vibrant as we have always done. We have a lot of work ahead of us – with more original programming than ever, this season’s expansion to Saturday night, our growing digital and streaming platforms – and we thrive when we come together and build The CW together.”
It is important to note that the sale is far from a done deal. It is also worth pointing out that no sale price has been agreed upon yet. As for what this might mean for the future of the Arrowverse? That’s difficult to say. As mentioned, WarnerMedia is big on HBO Max right now, using that as a hub for DC content. It’s possible that future shows would be shifted to streaming. Or it could mean little will change for the viewer. Much remains up in the air. Though, overall, it would be a massive shift behind-the-scenes.
In the meantime, several Arrowverse shows are gearing up to return in the coming months, including Superman & Lois, The Flash, and Batwoman. We also have the premiere of Naomi, The CW’s latest DC show, coming next week.
Superman & Lois season 2 premieres on January 11.