What Channel Is The CW on DISH Network? (2023 Update)

The CW logo next to DISH Network logo on TV.

What Channel Is The CW on DISH Network? (2023 Update)

If you’re a fan of popular TV dramas, then you’ve probably heard of The CW channel before. Known for its genre-spanning range of hit series for younger audiences, The CW has been capturing the attention of viewers nationwide for more than 15 years now. If you’re a DISH Network subscriber eager to tune into The CW, you’re going to need to know where to look. However, the channel number will vary depending on where you are in the country. Check the chart below for the information you need to know.

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Best for Families
From $4.99.mo.

Pick your choice of ESPN+, Hulu, and Disney Plus. Plans start as low as $4.99/month for ESPN+ only.

Best Overall
From $64.99/mo.

Free trial available. Watch 75+ channels, including local channels and special premium channel offers.

Best Budget Option

Take a 7-day free trial and stream more than 70 channels live. Record your favorites with unlimited DVR.

The CW Channel Guide

City and StateThe CW Channel on DISH Network
Albuquerque, NM19 or 21
Atlanta, GA69
Austin, TX54
Bakersfield, CA17
Baltimore, MD54
Bronx, NY11
Brooklyn, NY11
Buffalo, NY11
Charlotte, NC18
Chicago, IL26
Cincinnati, OH12
Cleveland, OH43
Colorado Springs, CO21.2 or 57
Columbus, OH53
Dallas, TX33
Denver, CO2
Detroit, MI50
El Paso, TX7
Fort Lauderdale, FL39
Ft. Worth, TX33
Fresno, CA59
Houston, TX39
Indianapolis, IN8
Jacksonville, FL17
Las Vegas, NV33
Los Angeles, CA5
Louisville, KY58
Memphis, TN30
Miami, FL39
Milwaukee, WI18
Minneapolis, MN23
New York, NY11
Oklahoma City, OK34
Orlando, FL18
Philadelphia, PA57
Phoenix, AZ61
Pittsburgh, PA19
Portland, OR32
Sacramento, CA31
St. Louis, MO11
St. Paul, MN23
Salt Lake City, UT30
San Antonio, TX4
San Diego, CA8
San Francisco, CA44
San Jose, CA44
Seattle, WA11
Tampa, FL44
Tucson, AZ58
Washington, DC50

The History of The CW

Woman watching TV.
The CW is home to numerous cult classic teen dramas.


As is the case with so many iconic channels, The CW began as a joint venture between two television titans: Paramount and Warner Bros. United Paramount Network (UPN) and Warner Bros. Network (The WB) came together in 2006. At the time, the two networks were both struggling to keep up with the bigger, more popular, basic cable networks. While they couldn’t compete individually, the two hoped they might be better together.

Paramount and Warner Bros. decided on a new name for their joint effort: The CW. The “C” stood for CBS, while the “W” stood for Warner Bros. UPN brought Star Trek reruns and WWE SmackDown to the table, while The WB brought cult favorite original series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dawson’s Creek. Alas, even with shows such as Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl, Veronica Mars, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural, The CW struggled to find a competitive edge in its early years.

It wasn’t until the 2010s that The CW found its most successful niche: DC superhero shows. Smallville came first in 2006. Before long, The CW had hit shows based on Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and more. The network also found great success with gritty dramas based on juvenile properties such as Archie Comics, Nancy Drew, and the like. However, many CW shows have ended recently — leaving the network’s future murky.

The CW Ownership

NetworkPercent Stake
Nexstar Media Group75%
CBS Entertainment Group12.5%
Warner Bros. Entertainment12.5%

The CW Programming

Still from The CW's 'Riverdale' (2017-2023).


is one of The CW’s biggest cult classics.

©The CW Network, LLC – License

With so many cable networks changing their programming lineup as a result of the ongoing strikes and decreased live viewership, it makes sense that The CW’s primetime lineup is undergoing significant changes. Even so, the channel still has a dependable selection of dramas, unscripted series, sports programming, and syndicated shows. Let’s review some of the most popular titles in The CW library today.


Above all else, The CW is known best for its dramas. This is how it has always been, and likely how it will always be on the network. Its current lineup has gotten away from all the superhero shows that defined it for much of the 2010s, with only Superman & Lois remaining.

Instead, The CW has shifted back to its melodramatic roots with a batch of gritty teen dramas. This includes Nancy Drew and Riverdale — both in their final seasons — as well as All American and its spinoff Homecoming.


The CW has built up quite an unscripted library in recent years. The network acquired FBoy Island from HBO and plans to produce future seasons and spinoffs for The CW. Additionally, it has acquired a series of reality programs from Canadian broadcasters (such as Great Chocolate Showdown.)

The network also has its own unscripted productions in the lineup — namely Fight to Survive and Recipe for Disaster, among others. These shows might not be as popular or have quite the following its dramas have, but the programs remain a part of The CW’s primetime schedule.


In the last several years, The CW has emphasized sports programming. NASCAR races will air on the channel starting in 2025, and LIV Golf and ACC Football games began playing on the channel in 2023.


The CW depends on syndication to stay afloat. It’s true of the network’s scripted and unscripted programming alike. With the strikes still ongoing and new original shows looking uncertain, it’s this syndicated content that will power The CW’s fall schedule.

One of the biggest is The Chosen, a popular Bible-based drama that has broken viewership records in its own right. Additionally, The CW is airing Canadian dramas Family Law and Moonshine during its 2023 summer/fall lineup. Viewers will likely see more syndicated programming this fall.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is The CW?

The CW is a popular television network known for its teen dramas, superhero shows, and syndicated programming. The CW is the product of a joint collaboration between UPN and The WB. The two came together to form The CW in 2006. Ever since, the network has made a name for itself with shows such as Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, and the Arrowverse franchise.

Is The CW available on DISH Network?

Yes, The CW is included in a majority of DISH Network subscriptions. If you aren’t a DISH Network subscriber, you can watch The CW using an antenna. This is because The CW is a basic cable channel alongside FOX, NBC, ABC, and the like. Many popular CW shows are also available to stream on Netflix.

Why are so many shows getting canceled on The CW?

So many of The CW’s biggest shows are coming to an end — including most of the titles from the Arrowverse, RiverdaleNancy Drew, and others — because the network says it’s in a transitional period. It’s hard to stay afloat in an era of streaming and decreased live broadcast viewership, meaning The CW bosses are trying to figure out how to stay competitive in a shifting landscape.

What is the Arrowverse?

The Arrowverse is a term used to describe the shared universe of TV shows based on DC Comics characters on The CW. Some say it all began with the show Arrow, but The CW really began its DC Comics output with Smallville. Even so, Arrow kicked off a new era of interconnected superhero shows that went on to include The Flash, Supergirl, and a handful of other DC Comics shows over the years.

What are some of the best shows from The CW?

Throughout The CW’s 15+ years on the air, the network has seen plenty of critically acclaimed and cult classic television shows. Some of the most notable of the bunch include Gilmore GirlsGossip GirlSmallvilleSupernatural, Whose Line Is It Anyway?The Vampire Diaries, and the Arrowverse.

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