The CW had one of two paths to choose. During contract negotiations regarding the rights to episodes of ‘The Flash’ and ‘Arrow’, The CW had the choice of either leaving Netflix to exclusively work with Hulu or vice versa. The CW chose to pair with Netflix after Hulu turned them off after wanting to make more than five episodes available at a time on their service. Cinema Blend details this news and delves into what this may mean. Link here.
Obviously, for those who watch ‘The Flash’ and ‘Arrow’ live will not be affected by the switch, but those who use Hulu to catch these shows will be out of luck. CWTV.com, The CW’s own free streaming service for their own shows, will be the alternate option for Hulu viewers without cable to catch all of the episodes. Those with cable but are not able to catch an episode live will be able to use DVR or On-Demand.
As with all things posted on Netflix, the episodes will only be posted seasons at a time. So for those with Netflix, watching episode by episode will not be an option. The bright side is, the wait for the season to be on Netflix will be faster than usual. It will only be an eight days wait after the season finale ends instead of what usually takes months. Those that enjoy this binge watching option will not miss out on anything and will experience a quicker turnaround in new seasons.
These two shows will also be joined by CW’s other DC Comics shows, ‘Legends of Tomorrow’, and ‘Supergirl’. The CW will have these shows follow suit after their respective contractual agreements with Hulu are fulfilled.
It is not believed that the switch from Hulu will be detrimental to The CW’s ratings but it will not be known until the next respective season of each show get underway. If anything, the ratings may drop on the official scale but still hold the same amount of viewers after considering the amount of people who may look to bootleg sites to view the episodes they miss.