Several months after reports first surfaced that local television station owner Nextstar Media Group was interested in buying The CW network, it appears the company is close to acquiring a majority stake in the broadcast channel.
Nexstar is nearing a deal to acquire 75% of The CW, with parent companies Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery each retaining 12.5% ownership stakes, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Representatives for The CW, Nexstar, Paramount Global did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests for comment; a rep for Warner Bros. Discovery had no comment.
Nexstar is expected to assume a majority of The CW’s current losses, which could amount to more than $100 million, per the outlet. While the deal is not yet done, an official pact could be reached in the next few weeks.
Nexstar is said to be planning to acquire shows from outside producers while Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery continue to create content for the broadcast network. Both parent companies will reportedly continue to receive revenue from previously established licensing agreements such as The CW’s ongoing relationship with Netflix.
Nexstar is the country’s largest broadcaster and already owns the majority of CW affiliate stations. Assuming operational control of the younger-skewing broadcast network, which often fails to turn a profit, would enable the company to reap the licensing rewards that come with selling content to streaming services and overseas buyers. Nexstar is expected to broaden The CW’s programming to appeal to older audiences, WSJ reported.
In 2019, Netflix and The CW ended its exclusive licensing pact as both parent companies looked to reclaim content for in-house streaming services Paramount + and HBO Max, respectively. However, The CW still licensed content on a case-by-case basis while ongoing shows remained tethered to Netflix. This was seen at the time as a way to increase licensing revenue by opening up the bidding pool. Yahoo! Entertainment