The CW Network has secured nine more stations for next season. The network has signed a new long-term affiliation agreement with Nexstar Broadcasting Group for all nine of Nexstar’s owned or operated stations that are currently CW affiliates. The pact follows last week’s similar renewal with Gray Television as the CW continues to secure markets while talks with its top affiliate group, Tribune, continue.
Over the past year, the CW renewed its affiliate agreement with Sinclair as well as Media General and Gray, along with some smaller pacts as the network’s original 10-year affiliate terms were set to expire in fall 2016. The CW now has locked in affiliate stations for years in virtually all markets except those controlled by Tribune that include New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Negotiations between Tribune and The CW parents CBS and Warner Bros., which have been difficult, are expected to come to a head in early 2016 as the fate of the stations in play has to be determined months ahead of the expiration of the current affiliate agreement next fall.
“We are delighted to extend our affiliation agreements for our existing CW stations and to continue to bring CW’s unique brand and critically acclaimed programming to our viewers,” Nexstar Broadcasting Group President and CEO Perry A. Sook said. “The CW ended the 2014–15 season with a 12% increase in total viewership year-to-year and with the combined CW and Nexstar programming we are delivering great entertainment and information to viewers and an excellent marketing solutions platform for local and national advertisers.”
Mission Broadcasting, Inc.’s stations in Little Rock, AR, and Evansville, IN, (for which Nexstar provides certain services) also entered new long-term affiliation agreements with The CW.