The CW will head into this year's upfronts with the backing of CBS.
The broadcaster, which is a joint venture between CBS and Warner Bros., will work with the eye network to coordinate and share resources in research and other areas, the companies said today. The alliance will extend beyond upfront season, when TV networks pitch their upcoming seasons to ad buyers and negotiate over ad time.
The networks will continue to set pricing independently and will not share proprietary information supplied by clients, according to the joint statement. Rob Tuck, exec VP-sales, The CW, will continue to report to CW President, Mark Pedowitz, but with added direction from Jo Ann Ross, CBS's president of network sales.
The CW enters the upfront market with total ratings down just 1%, averaging 1.4 million viewers in prime-time, a smaller decline than other broadcasters. The network has successfully begun to bring more male viewers into its fold with genre shows like "Arrow" and "The 100." The CW currently skews about 41% male, up from 37% in 2009.
A CW spokesman wasn't able to provide specific examples of ways the collaboration might play out, but the network is much smaller than its broadcast peers, both in audiences and in resources, so it seems to help the CW far more than CBS. David Poltrack, chief research officer at CBS, is well-known and respected in the business.