“Content licencing arrangements” mean that Sony is to pull a huge list of Discovery TV shows from users’ PlayStation consoles this month.
Over the past few days, PlayStation owners have begun receiving emails to inform them that any content belonging to the TV company Discovery will be removed from their consoles by the end of December.
As reported by Eurogamer, PlayStation’s email cites “content licencing arrangements” as the reason for the deleted content, which includes a wealth of scripted TV dramas, reality shows and documentaries.
“As of 31 December 2023, due to our content licensing arrangements with content providers, you will no longer be able to watch any of your previously purchased Discovery content and the content will be removed from your video library,” the email reads. “We sincerely thank you for your continued support.”
The exact same message can be found on PlayStation’s own website, which also includes a list of the Discovery shows and films that will soon be disappearing from users’ consoles. The list includes the likes of Cake Boss, Deadliest Catch (pictured) and Outrageous Acts Of Science.
Most alarmingly, this content will be removed from users’ consoles even if they previously paid for it – a situation that recalls Talk Talk’s decision to shut down its digital movie store. The mobile phone company closed its TalkTalk TV Store on 31st October 2023, which meant that customers who’d bought movies or TV shows via the service lost access to material they’d already purchased.
Once again, PlayStation’s announcement raises the question of ownership as we move towards an increasingly all-digital future. If the films and shows purchased through an online outlet can vanish with little notice, Christopher Nolan’s half-joking comment that buying a something on disc means “no evil streaming service can steal it from you” begins to make even more sense.