The CW is revamping its online streaming setup once again with a brand new Roku channel. Last summer, The CW switched from streaming the five most recent episodes of its shows on Hulu as they aired to streaming entire seasons on Netflix eight days after they ended. Which is good news for those who want to binge-watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend after the fact, but not so good news for those who want to keep up with Jane The Virgin as it’s airing. So now The CW is hoping to appease viewers in that latter category with a brand new Roku “catch-up” channel that’s free for everyone.
The new CW Roku app will let viewers watch the five most recent episodes of CW shows during the TV season, like they once could on Hulu. And the free app doesn’t require a cable provider log-in or the creation of a new account. As Variety notes, that makes it perfect for cord-cutters who have gotten rid of cable. It’s worth noting, however, that the app will be ad-supported, which means there’s no way to avoid commercial breaks like there was on Hulu’s top-tier subscription.
According to Screen Rant, The CW is the first of the five major networks to offer this kind of free TV-connected streaming. Many networks, including The CW, offer free catch-up episodes on their websites, but you can’t watch those directly on your TV. The CW is reportedly brokering similar deals with Chromecast, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, which means it will soon have all the most popular streaming devices covered. In other words: Those day-after Vampire Diaries viewing parties are about to get a whole lot easier to arrange.