FilmRise licenses AVOD, FAST content rights to Nexstar’s The CW

FilmRise inked a deal to license AVOD and free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) rights to Nextsar-owned The CW’s free streaming service, spanning over 1,500 hours of content.

The deal covers 429 episodes across 11 different series and four movies.  Some shows included in the deal are “Heartland,” Canada’s longest running one-hour scribed drama, Gordan Ramsey’s “Hell’s Kitchen,” and comedy-drama superhero series “The Greatest American.” The CW streaming service is also getting season 13 of “Forensic Files,” which includes 50 episodes.

FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher announced the deal, noting popularity of the titles.

"These properties have gained immense popularity across various AVOD and FAST channels on multiple platforms. We are thrilled to bring them to CW’s streaming audiences,” Fisher stated. “Our objective has always been to offer viewers everywhere the streaming content they desire, free of charge. This partnership with The CW enables us to stay true to that goal."

The CW, meanwhile, said it continues to expand the network’s digital and streaming initiative in the U.S.

"CW is focused on delivering the best content and experience to our streaming audiences,” said Ashely Hovey, chief digital officer at The CW, in a statement. "In addition to our hundreds of hours of original programming, we are partnering with Filmrise to bring an extensive collection of highly sought-after content to allow our users to access more content in one place."

Nexstar acquired a majority 75% stake in The CW network in 2022, with Paramount and Warner Bros. Discovery each retaining a 12.5% interest.

The CW has looked to expand its network reach with live sports, including the LIV Golf Tour, and other programming. It offers free content through its ad-supported The CW app, which is available on Roku, Amazon Fire TV Vizio, LG, Android TV and Apple TV. The app counts more than 1 million downloads to date and is available for free to consumers, featuring the latest episodes of The CW primetime programming and library of TV and film content on-demand.

Other titles in the FilmRise deal include “The War of the Worlds,” “On Death Row,” “ReGenesis,” and “Flash Gordon.” Additionally, The CW is licensing the following movies: “The Heartland Christmas,” “American Hero,” “Giantess Attack: Year Zero,” and “Videoverse: Mix Tape.”

In Q2 2023, The CW generated $75 million in revenue for Nexstar and a $74 million adjusted EBITDA loss.