How The CW survives with those ratings (why 'Nikita' is still on)

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The CW has the ratings of a cable network, the stagnant growth of a broadcast network and a schedule that’s pretty unique to itself, yet expensive — nearly all the network’s in-season shows are original scripted dramas, which is typically the most pricy kind of series programming.

So how does the network survive?

CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves, addressing journalists at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday, admitted the network itself “may lose some money.”

Yet he pointed out that the two entities that own The CW (CBS and Warner Bros. — The CW …) produce the shows that air on the network. So as a whole, the owners still make money by selling programming to itself, and then to others. “The shows bring us more revenue than losses,” he says. The CW’s owners have further boosted revenue by making deals with digital distribution companies like Netflix and Hulu to help peddle its content using methods that may be more favorable to the network’s target younger demo.

So that’s why Nikita is still on.

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