There is no other way to see it. The CW has to be betting on time on time shifted viewing. It is absolutely the only way to explain why they would put a key show from their lineup on Sunday nights. Heck make that two shows. The CW is going right up against The Simpsons (The longest running show in TV history), Dr Who on BBC America (One of the most popular shows in the sci fi world) And Sunday Night Football, in the fall. Oh lets not forget The Walking Dead on AMC, and soon enough Game Of Thrones on HBO. The demographics for a lot of those shows overlap, and they have very dedicated fans. In the old TV paradigm you had to win your slot. But in the new age it appears that CW is not at all concerned about winning the slot. It only cares about getting their fanbase to check out their shows at some point. It does not appear matter that Supergirl and Charmed drew less viewers than any other two shows
on Sunday night and got trounced in their time slots by the big names. In fact neither show won even one demographic group in its slot. The only first run network show that strugled at the same level was ABC’s Alec Baldwin show. I think SNL might have worked out better bud.
Even cable shows 90 DAY FIANCE on TLC grabbed a larger piece of the pie in the same time slot. You can see the full ratings report at Show Buzz Daily here. This kind of performance for a primetime show might spell doom for a program on a network focussed purely on real time ratings. But it is becoming fairly obvious that this is not The CW’s game. When the CW walked away from Hulu and launched a free ad-supported network app a lot of people were surprised. But it appeared that like its parent company, CBS, the network had its eye on more of a long game when it came to TV then maybe some others did. The CW, unlike all other network apps does not require users to sign in with a cable provider to access programming. It does not have a subscription either. All of its shows are available within 24 hours of airing with a few commercial breaks built in. The network has yet to say so publicly but it appears that this is the method it is pursuing.
It might be more difficult to lure advertisers to a TV show that is only available online. It is likely harder to get advertisers excited about buying into a show instead of a slot. So having a show on TV allows The CW to almost double dip and grab the more valuable broadcast ad revenue even if a substantial amount of their viewers actually watch via time shifted viewing via the app. You can better believe the network is quite aware of who is watching the shows and how many of them there are.
The future of TV entertainment is simply going to look different, very different than the past. And with nothing, not even live sports getting the kind of market shares that they got decades ago, the companies that invest in how content will be distributed in the future and even in some cases the present are likely to see returns on the investment as cord cutters, cord-nevers and just busy people fit their TV viewing into their overburdened schedules instead of working their way into a time slot.