Several months after reports first surfaced that the owner of local television station Nextstar Media Group was interested in buying The CW network, the company appears 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 retained 12.5% ownership stakes, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Representatives from The CW, Nexstar, Paramount Global did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests for comment; a representative of Warner Bros. Discovery had no comment.
Nexstar is expected to absorb a majority of The CW’s current losses, which could amount to more than $100 million per point of sale. While the deal isn’t finalized yet, an official pact could be reached in the coming weeks.
Nexstar is said to plan to acquire shows from outside producers, while Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Continue to create Discovery content for the broadcast network. Both parent companies will reportedly continue to receive revenue from previously signed licensing agreements, such as The CW’s ongoing relationship with Netflix.
Nexstar is the nation’s largest broadcaster and already owns most of CW’s affiliate stations. Assuming operational control over the younger broadcast network, which often doesn’t make a profit, would allow the company to reap the licensing benefits associated with selling content to streaming services and overseas buyers. Nexstar is expected to broaden The CW’s programming to appeal to an older audience, WSJ reported.
In 2019, Netflix and The CW ended their exclusive licensing deal as both parent companies wanted to reclaim content for internal streaming services Paramount+ and HBO Max, respectively. However, The CW still licensed content on a case-by-case basis, while the ongoing shows stuck to Netflix. This was seen at the time as a way to increase license revenue by opening the bid pool.