According to sources, ViacomCBS and AT&T’s WarnerMedia, who jointly operate The CW, are planning to sell a majority or all of the stakes in The CW.
The news comes via Wall Street Journal, which has also stated that this decision has been months in the making, as The CW as its own broadcasting entity isn’t profitable, but its content sure generates a lot of revenue.
Among all the buyers, the most likely one will be Nexstar Media Group Inc. For the unacquainted, Nexstar is the nation’s biggest broadcaster, along with already being a large owner of affiliates of The CW as well.
While it is possible that other buyers are also currently trying to strike deals, Nexstar has gotten quite far in its negotiations with the two companies. It is theorized that Nexstar will own the majority controlling stakes in The CW, while ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia will remain minority owners.
However, the two will continue to be the primary program suppliers for The CW.
As you may already know, The CW caters to the teen and young adult demography with shows like Riverdale, All America, Nancy Drew, and others. It is also the hub of DC’s TV universe with titles like The Flash, Superman & Lois, and Batgirl, along with hosting the CBS-driven Walker franchise.
If the deal goes through, Nexstar has much to gain with these titles in its roster. Plus, it seems like Nexstar is dipping its toes into creative content now, after making significant investments in news service via national news cable NewsNation.
AT&T is also currently in the middle of merging its WarnerMedia entertainment assets, including cable networks like TNT, TBS, and CNN. It is expected that the gigantic Discovery Inc will be made into a separate company.
As AT&T’s WarnerMedia merger deal is supposed to finalize in spring, one can expect that The CW’s fate will be decided in earnest after that.