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This past summer, the CW struck a deal with Netflix that would see the streaming service get access to full seasons of CW shows just a handful of days after that show’s season finale. While this was great news for binge-watchers, it meant that Hulu was losing the content so viewers could no longer keep up with their favorite shows week-to-week. Now the network itself has stepped up and offered an alternative.

The CW, like many networks, have always streamed their shows on their website, but now the network is expanding their streaming service to platforms such as Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and other big names. Best of all, it’s completely free, and you don’t even need so much as an account to watch your favorite shows. There are rumblings that CBS and Time Warner, CW’s parent companies, want to launch a fee-based streaming service for their content, but as of now that hasn’t happened.

As with Hulu, the CW will offer access to the previous five episodes, though without a pay option to access more. Being free, the service will definitely be ad-based, but if you already paid for the ad-based Hulu than it’s still an upgrade in terms of price.

Is this where streaming is headed? Instead of offering their content to big names like Netflix and Hulu, are networks just going to launch their own services?

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