When you purchase a digital movie or TV show from an online store, you may think you “own” that content. The truth is that digital content is, and likely always will be, owned by the companies that sold it to you, regardless of how much money you may have paid for it.
A number of Sony PlayStation Store users are finding that out the hard way this week. As reported by Kotaku, Sony sent out emails to those users, informing them that, after December 31, they wouldn’t be able to watch any TV shows they paid for on the PlayStation Store that were produced by the Discovery cable TV service.
The email included a link to the many, many Discovery shows that will be affected by this situation. The link included an introduction that stated:
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.
We sincerely thank you for your continued support.
Again, the list of Discovery TV shows that won’t be available to watch on the PlayStation Store, even by people who purchased that content, is massive. They include whole seasons and even the entire runs of shows from well-known Discovery series like Cake Boss, Deadliest Catch, Finding Bigfoot, Jon & Kate Plus 8, Man vs. Wild, MythBusters, Naked and Afraid, Say Yes to the Dress, Shark Week, Sister Wives, and many, many more.
Kotaku also pointed out that while the PlayStation Store used to allow people to transfer content they bought to other devices like the PlayStation Portable, that feature is no longer available on the more recent PS4 and PS5 consoles. There’s no indication that Sony and Discovery will make a last-minute attempt to extend the licensing agreement beyond December 31 so people who bought these shows can continue to watch them.