… goes to (drum roll please): The CW!
Nevermind the mild guesswork involved in simply finding the site (cwtv.com if you’re curious) or the various shades of green liberally spread about … the heart of any network site has got to be the viewing experience.
So it comes down to several factors. How easy is it to get to the episodes? One link, possibly two at the most. Even though the button is that horrible green again, it gets you there easy enough. Select full episodes, find the show you want to watch, and click. So far so good.
Your episode starts up with no hassle … that’s the second requirement met. No video or streaming hassles please. So far so good.
The episode opens with your usual commercial intro, this one something fairly amusing from Trident. There’s a good bit of video before the next break comes, but come it does. A minute of commercial here and there … no problem really, we’ve learned to live with those. But don’t push it. The CW not only pushes it, they ram it down your throat.
We also expect to get the same commercial over and over again. But we’re usually talking about maybe 5 minutes of commercial for nearly 45 minutes of a show. That’s a nice trade-off.
Unless you’re the CW. Now, I didn’t actually time anything, but I did tally the number of commercials during one CW show … 34 commercials. That compares favorably (or unfavorably depending on your take) with watching the show on the television. Those 34 commercials included many, many repeats and at least one example of “commercial volume boosting” … the seriously annoying habit some commercials have of significantly increasing said commercial’s volume. You know who you are … Applebees.
The CW is also one of a handful of network sites that won’t let Hulu host their programming. I’m assuming it’s because Hulu’s advertising policy doesn’t include up to seven different freaking commercials during one break.
I know that the CW (and all the nets) would probably prefer that I watch their shows when their actually broadcast. But guess I what? I don’t. I don’t watch anything according to any network schedule. For the most part, the CW is the last on my list for DVR. Now they’re at the bottom for online viewing as well.