How Netflix really did save the CW

With around 18 percent of its audience consuming its programs on digital platforms, the CW has emerged as broadcast TV’s most innovative network in terms of tracking and monetizing digital viewers. But without that billion dollars from Netflix, where would it be?

CBS turned down an ad-based Apple TV deal

When asked about CBS’s appetite for striking deals with new streaming providers that might not have the money to pay cash upfront to license its content, Moonves said that CBS had decided against joining an Apple TV service because it was based on an ad split.

Time Warner’s Bewkes: Netflix actually helps us

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has been critical of Netflix’s ability to compete with traditional TV networks. But he has softened his tone lately, talking up the additional value that subscription video-on-demand services services like Netflix and Hulu Plus can provide to the company’s financials.

Put this in your vampire diary: The CW coming to Hulu

Hulu has signed a five-year licensing agreement with The CW, the company announced Friday. The deal will bring current season programming, including The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl and Supernatural, to both subscribers of Hulu Plus, and Hulu’s ad-supported web-based service.

Get Ready to Watch More Video Ads Online

Recent studies show that online viewers hit by a higher load of ads aren’t dropping off the way they might. In fact, they may be able to watch more ads on content — perhaps as many as those on television — especially if ad formats continue to evolve.

Vid-Biz: The CW, Bitbop, Piracy

CW to Double Ad Load in Its Web Shows; the CW Network plans to put as many ads in Web versions of its shows as it airs on TV. (The Wall Street Journal)

Bitbop: Is This the Hulu of Mobile?; Fox Mobile unveiled Bitbop this week — and if you can get past the fact that you’re actually going to have to pay for this content, it’s shaping up to be a pretty promising service. (Engadget)

James Cameron: Innovation Trumps Digital Piracy; Avatar director says the key to combating digital piracy in the movie industry is to use technology to create an experience that is unmatched anywhere other than the theater. (CNET)

Big Content: Stopping P2P Should Be “Principal Focus” of IP Czar; according to the RIAA, MPAA, Directors Guild, Screen Actors Guild and others, new Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel should embark on nothing less than a quest to “push back the tide of copyright theft.” (Ars Technica)

Virgin Media To Create Canvas Rival; according to Virgin Media media relations head Asam Ahmad, the company’s partnership with TiVo has the potential to create a service where the Internet and TV content are combined on one screen. (Tech Watch)

Belgacom TV Experiments with 3D Football; the IPTV provider is experimenting with 3-D recording of the Belgian national football league in cooperation with partners Samsung and Outside Broadcast. (Broadband TV News)

AT&T’s 3G Network is Falling Short for Premium MMOD iPhone App; Based on reports, it appears that AT&T is falling short of being able to support streaming on the MMOD iPhone app, with video quality highly inconsistent or just plain unavailable. (VideoNuze)

The Beautiful Life Resurrected Online

The Beautiful Life

The Beautiful Life on YouTube

The Beautiful Life — that short-lived TV show about models cohabitating in New York — may have gotten short shrift on the CW, but it’s getting a second chance online. Ashton Kutcher’s Katalyst films, which produced the show, has announced a partnership with HP (s hpq) that will bring the show back for a limited run on YouTube (s GOOG).

Beginning today, YouTube will host the first two episodes of the show along with a third, until-now unseen, one. The final two episodes will be posted to YouTube on Dec. 21, and all five will remain on the site for six months. The episodes will also be available on the CW web site.

The Beautiful Life, which featured Sara Paxton, Mischa Barton, Corbin Bleu and Elle Macpherson in its cast, began on the CW but only lasted two episodes on the network before being canceled. But Katalyst, in conjunction with CBS (s cbs) Television Studios and Warner Bros. (s twx), had already finished filming three more episodes before the show was called off.

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Network Audiences Put the “Old” in Oldteevee

The audience for live broadcast TV is older than ever. According to new research from Magna Global, the median ages for CBS (s CBS), ABC (s DIS) and NBC (s GE) are expected to be over 50 years old this fall (via Variety).
For the just-completed season, the major broadcasters were already hovering around the half-century mark for live viewing. CBS was oldest with a median age of 55, ABC was at 51, NBC was at 49, FOX (s NWSA) was at 46, and The CW was the baby of the bunch at 34.
The silver lining to the networks’ grey hair is that their DVR playback audiences are much younger, with a median age of 40 years old. But when factoring in DVR usage, the networks’ median ages only dip slightly, with CBS at 54, ABC at 50, NBC at 47, FOX at 44 and the CW at 33. Robert Seidman over at TV by the Numbers explains why DVRs don’t have a bigger impact:
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Gossip Girl Returns to Streaming

You’ll be happy to know that the CW, either egged on by our post asking for online episodes (probably not) or sticking with a stupidly long planned delay, has, in fact, posted the season two premiere of Gossip Girl online. TVbytheNumbers‘ Robert Seidman kept his eyes on CWTV and let us know he caught sight of last week’s episode posted yesterday afternoon, a few hours before the new one aired on the East Coast.

So it appears, for now, that the CW’s new strategy is to post streaming versions of its primetime shows a week after they air (Gossip Girl is on Mondays). In keeping with that schedule, the series premiere of the new 90210 (which aired last Tuesday) is live today. I believe that, in the past, CW posted new episodes after a couple days’ delay, but not a week. All along it has been posted to iTunes with much more alacrity.

This new posting schedule follows the network’s attempt to drive up oldteevee viewership of Gossip Girl last year by discontinuing ad-supported streaming of new episodes. Over the summer the network announced it had changed its policy and would be bring the show back to the web, but when no new episodes had appeared six days after the season premiere we had started to wonder if it was having second thoughts.

So now we know. A week, though? Are you trying to drive up TiVo sales or something?