The CW Reaches Out to Affiliates


The CW network is asking prospective affiliates to name their price. In a letter sent to stations this week, the network outlined its affiliation terms and asked owners to submit proposals that include programming fees, the length of the deal, and contributions to launch support and regular promotion.

The CW, set to debut in September, is reaching out to more than 200 WB and UPN affiliates and independents. In some markets, stations may get into a bidding war to win the affiliation. In recent days, however, some station owners have said they will resist paying reverse compensation--or what CW is calling “programming fees"--to the network.

The letter also outlines what CW affiliates will receive from the network. In prime time, affiliates will have three minutes of advertising inventory and five minutes during daytime programming. CW stations must clear all CW programs in prime time, 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. ET  “without time compression, squeezing or alteration in CW signal.”

The network is also optioning to expand into other time periods, such as weekday mornings, Saturday nights and weeknights at 11 p.m. ET/10 p.m. CT with a one-year written notice and subject to station’s preexisting programming commitments.

CW stations will be required to broadcast network programming in high-definition, the letter says.

Other commitments will include buying outside media time from seven weeks before launch through November sweeps, as well as routine annual promotion.