CW cuts wait time to view shows on­line

The Washington Times Daily - - Television -

Fans of CW shows such as “The Vampire Diaries” no longer have to wait three days af­ter broad­cast to watch them on­line. Now, the wait time will be, at most, eight hours be­fore the CW streams full episodes on CWTV.COM and its mo­bile apps.

Shows will stream with the same num­ber of ads they had on TV.

Ac­cord­ing to the As­so­ci­ated Press, the move is de­signed to cut into the pop­u­lar­ity of pi­rated streams.

The net­work, jointly owned by CBS Corp. and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros., said 20 per­cent of on­line streams of its shows were unau­tho­rized. Half of those were of­fered within three days of the orig­i­nal broad­cast.

The short­ened wait times have been avail­able since last year to pay­ing sub­scribers of Hulu Plus, which streams the shows with fewer ads.

“I do think we can make a cut into piracy,” said Rick Hask­ins, the CW’S ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing and dig­i­tal pro­grams. “It’s go­ing to take a while for the word to get out.”

Pre­vi­ously, the CW had kept its shows off the In­ter­net for 75 hours to en­cour­age peo­ple to watch on TV. That al­lowed the net­work to get more credit with Nielsen, which mea­sures TV au­di­ence sizes. Nielsen rat­ings are cru­cial in de­ter­min­ing how much ad­ver­tis­ers pay for com­mer­cial spots.

But the CW found that putting as many com­mer­cials on­line as it did on TV didn’t cause peo­ple to click away. It mea­sures on­line view­ers with Google Inc.’s Dou­bleclick ser­vice.

Mr. Hask­ins said the CW can ben­e­fit if it can en­tice on­line view­ers to switch from watch­ing on il­le­gal sites to its own.

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