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CW Network updates Apple TV app with free streaming channels

Content streams from Scripps, Electric Now and FilmRise are now available to CW Network fans on Apple TV.

Content streams from Scripps, Electric Now and FilmRise are now available to CW Network fans on Apple TV.

The CW Network app running on an Apple TV device. (Screen capture by The Desk)
The CW Network app running on an Apple TV device. (Screen capture by The Desk)

Nexstar Media Group’s CW Network has updated its Apple TV app to include nearly 50 free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels.

The update was pushed out to all modern Apple TV devices and is available to download via the built-in App Store for streamers who do not yet have the CW Network app.

As The Desk was first to report, the CW Network quietly introduced a handful of FAST channels via its website last year, which also includes video on-demand versions of CW network shows and other licensed programming.

The FAST channels come from a variety of sources, including the E. W. Scripps Company, FilmRise, Lionsgate and Electric Now. Last month, the CW Network launched its own FAST channel that includes re-runs of its competition series “Penn & Teller: Fool Us.”

Some of the channels available through the CW Network website and Apple TV app include:

  • Bounce XL
  • Electric Now
  • FilmRise Free Movies
  • Forensic Files
  • Game Show Central
  • Heartland
  • Ion
  • Ion Mystery
  • Ion Plus
  • Laff More
  • Love Nature
  • MovieSphere by Lionsgate
  • Total Crime

The CW Network has plans to launch its FAST channel slate on other supported apps in the future, including Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

Streaming is still a small part of Nexstar’s overall business, which generates most of its revenue from affiliate fees charged for the distribution of its 160-plus local broadcast stations and cable network NewsNation.

“The main reason we’re not in streaming is because we just don’t think it’s a good business,” Nexstar CEO Perry Sook said at an investor conference last week, without addressing the CW Network’s FAST platform or streaming apps.

He continued: “It’s not a business that we want to get into to lose money — and, so, we think there are a number of ways that we can reach the consumer.”

Those other ways include a continued push for cable and satellite distribution, along with supporting the development and deployment of ATSC 3.0, better known as NextGen TV. Broadcasters feel NextGen TV offers the best of both words — the ability to reach consumers with free over the air signals, and unique targeting abilities for advertisers when those signals are coupled with an Internet connection.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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