The CW Network has partnered with Range Sports to create new content and event franchises in an effort to expand its live sports content.
The deal brings college-level and other progressional sports to The CW as part of a larger strategic shift by parent company Nexstar Media Group. CW Sports and Range Sports will collaborate on new sports-themed programs and develop branded content. They’ll also advise on national-level rights deals and local markets for The CW’s affiliate stations, according to Variety.
“We are excited to select Range Sports to serve as a strategic partner with CW Sports,” said Michael Strober, chief revenue officer at Nexstar. “Their deep bench of brand marketers and creative firepower will accelerate our efforts to bring immersive and captivating sponsorship programs to our local and national advertisers.”
Range Sports will tap into Range Media’s resources to aid The CW with talent representation, brand consulting, data and analytics, as well as production for scripted and unscripted programs.
“We are thrilled to partner with The CW network to enhance their sports portfolio and provide incremental value to viewers, sponsors, and advertising partners,” said co-presidents Will Funk and Greg Luckman, according to Variety. “With broadcast distribution available in all households across the country, Nexstar and The CW are building the foundation for the next great sports programming engine, and we are excited about the opportunity to be a part of their outstanding team.”
The CW has been diving into sports after Nexstar Media Group acquired a 75% majority stake in the network from Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global. The change of ownership marked the network’s first venture into live sports since The CW launched twenty years ago. The network strives to host 500 hours of sports programs a year.
Since then, CW Sports signed deals to host coverage of ACC football and LIV Golf, as well as men’s and women’s college basketball matches. The network will continue to expand its sports coverage as WWE’s NXT events debut on CW Sports this October. In 2025, NASCAR’s Xfinity Series, which it acquired for a six-year deal for $15 million, will debut on the network.
In addition to live sports events, CW Sports will host sports-centric content, including Inside the NFL and 500 Days of Indy, to fill out its lineup.