When WarnerMedia launches its own streaming service, you can expect a mass exodus of shows from Netflix, including The CW hits like Riverdale and Arrow.
During the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Monday, WarnerMedia chief creative officer Kevin Reilly told reporters that the deal with Netflix to make it the exclusive streaming home of The CW shows will expire this spring. Reilly said they are interested in bringing the CW shows to the WarnerMedia platform, adding, “we’re very interested in putting that on our platform," reports TVLine.
The CW shows are not the only ones in danger of leaving Netflix. Reilly said some of the "crown jewels" of the Warner Bros. TV library, including The Big Bang Theory and Friends, "will ultimately end up on the new service." Both beloved shows were included in promotional materials Monday.
“Sharing destination assets is not a good model," Reilly said. "My belief is they should be exclusive to the service.”
Reilly did not share much other details about the unnamed service, but it is expected to also have HBO programming and movies from the vast Warner Bros. library. According to TVLine, original programming might be in the works as well, but that would not start until next year. A beta version of the service itself is expected to be available before the end of 2019.
According to Variety, Reilly called HBO programming the "core" of the WarnerMedia streaming service, adding that it will “build on the foundational ethos of HBO." Shows from Cartoon Network and Adult Swim will also be available.
The last time news broke about Friends leaving Netflix, the Internet took up arms to make sure the sitcom stayed on the streaming service. Netflix originally signed an exclusive deal that ended on Jan. 1, 2019, but Netflix called that a "rumor." The company reportedly paid $100 million to keep Friends by the end of 2019. However, this new deal was non-exclusive, giving WarnerMedia the green light to make sure Friends is available at launch.
There is "no content in the WarnerMedia portfolio that will not be looked at for this service initially,” Reilly told reporters.
The WarnerMedia service will come just as Disney launches its own Disney Plus streaming service. Reilly said he does not see the two services as direct competitors, since Disney's will be family-friendly and WarnerMedia's will not be exclusively family-friendly, especially with HBO product available.
NBCUniversal is also looking to launch a streaming service, which could result in The Office and other hit sitcoms leaving Netflix by 2021.
Photo credit: The CW