The CW Plus
|The CW Plus
|September 18, 2006
The CW Network, LLC
(Time Warner (50%)/
CBS Corporation (50%))
1080i or 720p (HDTV)
(resolution varies depending on the affiliate)
|Dare To Defy
|National (available only in smaller television markets)
|Los Angeles, California
|The WB 100+ Station Group (1998–2006)
The CW Plus East
The CW Plus Mountain
The CW Plus Pacific
|Available on digital subchannels and LPTV stations in some markets
|Check local listings for channel
|OTA affiliates available on DirecTV and Dish Network in some markets
|Check local listings for channel
|Available on some cable systems
|Consult your local cable provider or program listings source for channel availability of a CW Plus cable-only affiliate
The CW Plus is a national feed of The CW Television Network, owned by The CW Network, LLC (a joint venture between Time Warner and CBS Corporation, which each maintain a 50% ownership interest), that is primarily carried on digital subchannels and non-broadcast cable television outlets. The service is intended for areas ranked below the top 99 television markets in the United States designated by Nielsen Media Research. In addition to carrying CW network programming on Monday through Fridays in daytime and prime time, as well as its Saturday morning educational programming block, The CW Plus runs a mix of syndicated and brokered programs outside of designated network programming time periods.
The CW handles programming and promotional services for The CW Plus at its corporate headquarters in Burbank, California (marketing services were handled through a separate division for the service until March 2008, when these operations were transferred to The CW's marketing department due to layoffs imposed by the network); centralcasting operations for the CW Plus affiliates are hubbed at the California Video Center in Los Angeles.
One of the predecessors of The CW, The WB Television Network had maintained a similar group of cable-only affiliate stations in small- and select medium-sized markets called The WB 100+ Station Group, which began operations on September 21, 1998 and continued to operate until The WB ended operations on September 17, 2006. On February 24, 2006, one month after CBS Corporation and Time Warner announced the launch of the new network, The CW formally released a proposal to prospective affiliates announcing the creation of The CW Plus, a similar single-network feed for smaller markets – covering the same areas that were served by The WB 100+. While there was no guarantee that existing affiliates of The WB 100+ would automatically join The CW Plus, most of them (particularly cable-only affiliates) ultimately did join the new service, and programming transitioned seamlessly from The WB 100+ to The CW Plus.
Since The WB 100+ was created before digital television was easily available in the United States, most WB 100+ stations were distributed exclusively via cable, with a few main channel affiliations on over-the-air broadcast stations. With its launch, The CW (along with MyNetworkTV) became among the first conventional broadcast networks in the U.S. to fully utilize digital multicasting to gain over-the-air coverage in markets that did not have enough television stations to maintain a traditional main channel affiliation (Fox, The WB and fellow CW predecessor UPN had a few subchannel-only affiliates shortly before The CW launched, however over-the-air distribution in this manner was very limited at the time). In several markets served by a CW Plus station, the current affiliate may not be the same as the prior WB 100+ affiliate. Some CW Plus affiliates are carried on a digital subchannel of a local broadcast station, whereas the prior affiliate of The WB 100+ was cable-exclusive; certain cable-only affiliates of The WB 100+ have been replaced completely by either a subchannel or main channel over-the-air affiliation when The CW launched, or joined The CW Plus only for a broadcast station that managed or acquired it to begin carrying it over-the-air at some point after its launch.
As with The WB 100+, CW Plus programming is delivered through a data server network that originally digitally transmitted local and national advertisements, promos, station identifications and customized logo bugs for each individual affiliate to headends within the master control facilities of a local station or the offices of the cable provider operating the local affiliate. Programming is relayed to a wireless PC-based system that downloads (through a data feed distributed via satellite), stores and inserts advertising during program breaks controlled via a playlist over the satellite-delivered national feed to the individual affiliate's home market; the units also transfer program feeds via address headers disseminated to each affiliate based on their call letters, transmit advertisements and program promotions, and generate a log of ads that have previously aired. The cost of these units are partially reimbursed by The CW, with no more than 50% of the purchase cost paid by the affiliate. Affiliates sent logfiles of local advertisements over the Internet to a traffic management system located at The CW's corporate offices in Burbank, which handles trafficking, dissemination of the program feed and specified local insertion of advertisements and promotions to each affiliate. After The CW stopped providing support for the traffic system and commercial server in September 2009, responsibility for ad trafficking and insertion was transferred to The CW Plus' individual affiliates, although The CW continues to handle programming and transmission operations.
CW Plus stations are generally managed and promoted by a local affiliate of a larger over-the-air television station, which may produce some local programming (such as morning and/or prime time newscasts), telecasts of local sports events, or syndicated national sports broadcasts from either ESPN Regional Television, the ACC Network or the American Sports Network; some affiliates, however, are operated by a local cable provider.
CW Plus affiliates each have their own local branding, which is usually a combination of the "The CW" name with either the parent station/cable franchise's city of license or a regional descriptor of the area (such as "Northland" for Duluth and northeastern Minnesota, as seen in the logo to the above left). Unlike its predecessor, The WB 100+ Station Group, The CW Plus does not use call signs used solely for branding and/or supplementary identification purposes in a widespread fashion; while many cable-only WB 100+-turned-CW Plus affiliates have stopped using fictional call signs (which were not assigned by the Federal Communications Commission, as the agency does not issue licenses to cable channels), a few have continued to use the ones they had used while part of The WB 100+ Station Group, mainly doing so merely for identification purposes in local Nielsen diary-tabulated ratings reports.
The CW Plus originally maintained a separate website featuring promotions for CW network programs, search maps for CW Plus affiliates, programming schedules customizable to an affiliate's local time zone, and still promotional ads for CW network shows and syndicated programs seen on the CW Plus feed. In May 2014, YourCWTV.com was discontinued as a standalone website, redirecting to The CW's main website at CWTV.com. However, the websites of all CW Plus affiliates continue to be hosted on the YourCWTV.com domain, featuring much of the aforementioned content seen on the national website; as well as links to websites and social media pages operated by the affiliate or a parent over-the-air station, and links to the affiliate's contact information, advertising services and (where applicable) the main website of a parent broadcast affiliate.
Like the predecessor WB 100+ Station Group, The CW Plus utilizes a dual programming model differing from CW-affiliated stations in large and medium-sized markets. Dayparts on CW Plus affiliates with no CW programming are programmed by the network – primarily featuring programs currently airing in syndication, with syndicated film packages filling select weekend timeslots, and paid programming filling overnight and some early afternoon timeslots; this relieves the local affiliate's operator from the duty of having to acquire syndicated programming to fill timeslots outside of The CW's network schedule. However, some over-the-air CW Plus affiliates may fill paid programming time with content from another subchannel network such as MeTV, This TV or Antenna TV, particularly if the network whose content is sourced does not have an existing full-time affiliate in the market. The operator of the CW Plus affiliate handles local advertising sales for the station, cable-only outlet or subchannel, which incorporates local commercial inserts during CW network and syndicated programming supplied by the service.
Prior to the debut of the Litton Entertainment-produced One Magnificent Morning block on the network in October 2014, the remaining two hours of programming that fulfill FCC educational programming guidelines which were not covered by The CW's predecessor children's program blocks – Kids' WB, The CW4Kids/Toonzai and Vortexx – was also taken care of by The CW Plus. However even with the debut of One Magnificent Morning, The CW Plus continued to carry syndicated E/I programs on early Saturday afternoons immediately after the conclusion of the block, resulting in a net surplus of seven hours of educational programming each week (five provided by The CW, and two by The CW Plus) that far exceeded the three hours required at minimum by the Children's Television Act. The supplementary syndicated E/I content was reduced to a single half-hour in September 2015 (consisting solely of Elizabeth Stanton's Great Big World) and shifted to a Saturday late-night timeslot, with much of the required educational programming now coming almost exclusively through the One Magnificent Morning block.
Syndicated programs broadcast on The CW Plus during non-network programming hours as of September 2015 include Seinfeld, The Steve Wilkos Show, Community, Are We There Yet?, Family Guy, The King of Queens, Rules of Engagement, Cougar Town, Crazy Talk, Cops Reloaded, Raising Hope, Rookie Blue, and King of the Hill. Some syndicated programming provided by The CW Plus is substituted by the local affiliate's parent station or cable franchise operator with alternate shows if the rights to that program are held by another station in their market. Many subchannel affiliates also carry morning and/or prime time newscasts produced by a co-managed station or through a news share agreement with another station in the same market. Though The CW Television Network does not carry any national news programming of its own, The CW Plus did carry The Daily Buzz, a syndicated morning news and talk program that had originally aired on its predecessor The WB 100+ beginning in September 2002 and remained on The CW Plus until September 2014 (eight months prior to the program's April 2015 cancellation).
The CW Plus operates three separate feeds for the Eastern, Mountain and Pacific Time Zones, whose master schedules are designed to align the start time of The CW's prime time programming with the network's broadcast affiliate feed; as such, The CW Daytime and One Magnificent Morning blocks (which are designed to be tape-delayed) are aired an hour early – compared to their preferred scheduling – on affiliates in the Central and Alaska time zones.
As of September 2015, The CW Plus has current and pending affiliation agreements with 100 television outlets encompassing 40 states, consisting of 88 broadcast affiliates (74 which serve as subchannel-only affiliates and 14 with primary channel affiliations) and 13 cable-only affiliates. Counting mainly over-the-air affiliates of the service, The CW Plus covers an estimated national audience reach of 59,718,119 U.S. residents, or 19.11% of all households with at least one television set.
Availability of CW Plus stations through pay television services varies depending on the provider; while CW Plus outlets are usually carried by major cable, fiber optic and IPTV providers (including multiple-system and private cable operators) in markets served by a subchannel or cable-only affiliate of the service, some rural pay television francises that do not carry a local CW Plus affiliate via an existing distribution agreement with a broadcast affiliate or through the absence of an agreement with the operator of a cable-only affiliate carry CW stations from adjacent larger markets.
In certain markets, satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network carry stations that maintain primary affiliations with The CW Plus – and in some cases, also carry a subchannel-only affiliate of the service – as part of their local station tiers; however in areas served by a cable-only or subchannel affiliate, subscribers of both providers can only receive out-of-market broadcast affiliates of The CW (DirecTV carries affiliates from neighboring markets that have main channel affiliations with the network in some smaller markets, with the provider's designated coastal network feeds – WDCW in Washington, D.C. or XETV-TDT in Tijuana/San Diego – available in lieu of a local or nearby affiliate in others; Dish Network provides CW programming to its subscribers in smaller markets through Tribune Broadcasting-owned affiliates WPIX/New York City, KTLA/Los Angeles and KWGN-TV/Denver, which are available as part of its a la carte superstation tier).
Since the conversion of the CW Plus feeds to a high definition schedule in June 2012, many of The CW Plus's stations have converted to carrying the high definition feed on an over-the-air signal, though it is usually transmitted in 720p rather than the network's 1080i master resolution due to technical considerations for their parent station's main network feed – except in the few markets where a CW Plus broadcast affiliate does not also have an affiliation with a major broadcast network – on their primary channel. Prior to that, the parent stations also carried the main CW signal in HD mixed with the CW Plus schedule to provide high definition programming from the network to local cable and satellite providers.
List of The CW Plus affiliates
Designated market area (DMA) rankings are based on Nielsen estimates as of September 2015.
- 1 These stations carry The CW Plus on a digital subchannel. In some of these cases, the channel listed is the actual digital channel (e.g. "13", not a virtual channel such as "27.2", for WKYT).
- 2 Cable channel already operational, but not yet broadcasting via a digital subchannel. See also note 1.
- 3 Local affiliate formerly operated as a cable-only channel.
- 4 Local affiliate formerly operated as a main channel affiliation.
- 5 KCWE is available over-the-air in the St. Joseph market, as are other local stations originating from Kansas City; KNPG-LD formerly operated as cable-only "WBJO" from its 1998 sign-on as part of The WB 100+ Station Group until News-Press & Gazette Company took over operational and advertising control of the channel and added it to KNPN's third digital subchannel in June 2012; it was then spun off into a separately licensed station as KBJO-LD owned by News-Press & Gazette in April 2014.
- 6 WWME's main channel maintains a separate schedule when not airing CW network programming.
(before The CW Plus)
|Years of affiliation
|Biloxi–Gulfport–Long Beach, Mississippi
|The CW is affiliated with WXXV-DT2
| "WBH" 59
|The CW is affiliated with WHPM-LD2
|Montana State University
| Station went dark on July 2, 2015, after Gray Television donated the station (now KUHM-TV) to Montana State University for pending integration into the Montana PBS member network;
The CW is affiliated with KTVH-DT2
|Idaho Falls/Pocatello, Idaho
| Defunct; became an RTV after disaffiliating from The CW, station license deleted in February 2011;
The CW is affiliated with KIFI-DT3
|Wilderness Communications, LLC
| Operating as a This TV affiliate;
The CW is affiliated with KATC-DT2
|Replaced by KGNS-DT2
|KGNS-TV (DT2) 8
|Subchannel became an ABC affiliate, replaced by "Laredo CW 19"
| "Laredo CW 19"
|Time Warner Cable
|Defunct; replaced by KYLX-LD2
| "West Central Ohio CW"
(cable-only from 2008-2010)
|Time Warner Cable
| Also broadcast on WLIO-DT2 until September 17, 2008 when the station joined Fox and MyNetworkTV
Defunct; replaced by WBDT
| "WBMN" 3
|The CW is affiliated with WMAZ-DT2
|Rio Grande Valley, Texas
|Defunct; replaced by KFXV-LD
|St. Joseph, Missouri
| The WB
(cable only as "WBJO")
|News-Press & Gazette Company
| Changed its call letters to KNPG-LD and joined NBC November 1, 2016
The CW is affiliated with KNPG-LD2
| NBC affiliate WWLP assumed operations of "WBQT" in March 2015
The CW is affiliated with WWLP-DT2/WFXS-CD2
|Utica, New York
| The WB
(cable only as "WBU")
|Heartland Media LLC
| Joined CBS November 22, 2015
The CW is affiliated with WKTV-DT3
|Wilmington, North Carolina
| "WBW" 29
|The CW is affiliated with WWAY-DT2
|Yuma, Arizona/El Centro, California
|Pappas Telecasting Companies
|Subchannel is now silent; The CW is affiliated with KECY-DT3
|WHIZ Media Group
| Defunct; shut down in 2008 by WHIZ-TV,
later replaced by "Zanesville CW 13"
- The WB 100+ Station Group – predecessor of The CW Plus; most of the remaining cable-only channels and some over-the-air stations that are outlets of The CW Plus formerly served as affiliates of The WB 100+ Station Group
- CW-W – a standard definition-only feed of XETV-TDT/Tijuana for markets without a CW affiliate carried on DirecTV
- CW-E – a standard definition-only feed of WDCW/Washington, D.C. for markets without a CW affiliate carried on DirecTV
- WGN America – a general entertainment cable and satellite network in the United States, which originally served as the national superstation feed of Chicago CW affiliate WGN-TV; it served as a de facto affiliate of CW predecessor The WB for U.S. markets without an over-the-air affiliate from January 1995 to October 1999
- Foxnet – a similar cable-only network for markets without a Fox affiliate, that operated from 1991 to 2006
- CTV Two Alberta – a similar cable-only affiliate of CTV Two in the Canadian province of Alberta; formerly Access
- CTV Two Atlantic – a similar cable-only affiliate of CTV Two in Atlantic Canada; formerly the Atlantic Satellite Network (ASN) and A Atlantic
- City Saskatchewan – a similar cable-only affiliate of City in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan
- "CW Network LLC profile". Businessweek. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
- Michael Schneider (March 3, 2008). "Strike, ratings slip lead to CW layoffs". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- Jesse Heisiond. "WB 100 Plus Stations Act Locally" (PDF). The Hollywood Reporter. BPI – via RussellMyerson.com.
- "The WB 100+ station group hits 8 million, more than doubling its household reach since launch". Time Warner (Press release). January 15, 2002.
- "A Salute to The WB 100+ Station Group on its Fifth Anniversary" (PDF). TelevisionWeek. September 22, 2003 – via RussellMyerson.com.
- Allison Romano (February 24, 2006). "CW Creates Small-Market Service". Broadcasting & Cable. Reed Business Information. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- Allison Romano (February 24, 2006). "The Mating Game". Broadcasting & Cable. Reed Business Information. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- Daisy Whitney (January 17, 2005). "100+ Vital to Growth in Markets" (PDF). TelevisionWeek – via RussellMyerson.com.
- Jay Sherman (June 12, 2006). "CW Plus: Digital for the Little Guy" (PDF). TelevisionWeek – via RussellMyerson.com.
- Dan Trigoboff (September 15, 2002). "Acme's Buzz to go national". Broadcasting & Cable. Reed Business Information. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- Dan Trigoboff (September 16, 2002). "ACME's Buzz grows". Broadcasting & Cable. Reed Business Information. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- "Network Search: CW+". RabbitEars. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
- "Local Television Market Universe Estimates" (PDF). Nielsen N.V. September 2, 2015. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
- "Gray in 4 New Deals, Closes 3 Earlier Ones". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. July 1, 2015. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
- "Notification of Suspension of Operations / Request for Silent STA". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
- Official website
- CWTV.com – Official website for The CW
- CWTVLink.com (requires log-in information)
- GDMX Broadcast – GDMX Website (performs broadcast origination for The CW Plus)