CW to Put Shows Online Before Broadcast Debut

Three Episodes to Run on MSN for Free and Without Ads

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- New broadcast network the CW has finalized a deal with MSN to premiere episodes from three of its prime-time series a full week before they debut on TV. The agreement was announced today by CW entertainment boss Dawn Ostroff.
'Everybody Hates Chris' is set to stream on MSN Sept. 24 for free and withouts ads.
'Everybody Hates Chris' is set to stream on MSN Sept. 24 for free and withouts ads.

Week before broadcast
Premiere episodes of "Veronica Mars," "Everybody Hates Chris" and new drama series "Runaway" will be available for free and without commercials on MSN.com a full week before their broadcast debuts.

"Runaway" will debut online Sept. 18, until its official broadcast debut on Sept. 25. The first hour of "Veronica Mars" will be available beginning Sept. 26 until its launch Oct. 3, while "Everybody Hates Chris" is set to stream on MSN Sept. 24.

Ms. Ostroff in a statement said one of the "distinct advantages" of launching the network in the current marketplace is using the internet to reach the CW's target demo of 18- to 34-year-olds "wherever they may be, even before The CW is on the air." She said the MSN deal is a "vital part of our launch strategy, giving us valuable online exposure that we can use to drive viewers to the network."

No stranger to streaming
This is the CW's first foray into streaming video, but former networks the WB and UPN -- which merged to form CW -- had experience in the area. Last September, Google streamed an episode UPN's series "Everybody Hates Chris" before it aired on TV, while Yahoo streamed an episode of the WB's "Supernatural." Both shows were streamed a week before they aired on their respective networks.
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