CW Seed Will Add Live, Linear Channel In The Fall With PeopleTV As Launch Partner

CW Seed

EXCLUSIVE: The CW is adding a live, ad-supported linear extension of its six-year-old digital network CW Seed, with PeopleTV onboard as launch content partner.

CW Seed Live will come online in late fall 2019 via and the CW Seed app. The app has distribution on Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, iOS, Android, Xbox, Chromecast and Android TV. PeopleTV draws from material in Meredith’s People and Entertainment Weekly media brands.

Rick Haskins, EVP Marketing and Digital for the CW, told Deadline in an interview that Seed has been profitable for the past three years. Evenly split between male and female viewers, its median age is 28. “We expect a halo effect from People and Entertainment Weekly content on PeopleTV because it’s closely aligned with our audience,” he said. “We are in negotiations with several other partners for content that we will be announcing soon.” Yet-to-be-announced titles will range from documentary series to supernatural genre fare.

“For the past six years, CW Seed has been a digital entertainment destination of innovation, incubation and experimentation that is free and ad-supported with no subscription, login or authentication. CW Seed ‘Live’ will give us additional opportunities to introduce a variety of new and current CW Seed series to our audience, as well as experiment with different types of digital content,” Haskins said.

The live offering builds on the original impetus for Seed, which was launched as an incubator for web series with broadcast potential. Early efforts included Husbands and PET Squad. This summer, Seed projects Two Sentence Horror Stories and Mysteries Decoded will premiere on the CW TV network.

Over time, as viewing habits continued to change, Seed also became an on-demand repository of past series. It now hosts 45 titles, nearly 1,400 episodes and about 1,000 total hours of programming on its free, ad supported platform. The library includes I Ship It and Warner Bros. Animation/Blue Ribbon Content’s Constantine: City of Demons, based on the DC characters, as well as Alcatraz, Everybody Hates Chris, Forever, The L.A. Complex, Pushing Daisies and The Secret Circle.

Also, as announced at the CW upfront in May, Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons, from Warner Bros Animation and Blue Ribbon Content, based on DC characters, and The Pledge, from Saw horror franchise producers Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger, Gulfstream Television and Blue Ribbon Content, will debut later this year.

Seed, which has 7.5 million app downloads, represents about 20% of total digital viewing and ad revenue for the CW. The “sweet spot,” as Haskins put it, is a 28-year-old viewer. The gender split is 50-50 male-female.

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