Sony recently announced a legal update notice to let PlayStation users know that over 1,000 seasons of Warner Bros.' Discovery Channel TV shows will be removed from their libraries, even if they had already paid for them.
According to the notice, from Dec. 31 onward, PlayStation users will no longer be able to access Discovery Channel content they had previously bought, and that these would be removed from their libraries.
The legal update said, “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. Thank you, PlayStation Store.”
According to CBR, over 100 TV series will be removed, totaling to 1,317 seasons.
PlayStation users were naturally livid. Many were surprised that even though they paid for the content, Sony is still able to take them away.
Warner's latest move have prompted calls to return to purchasing physical media. However, others have pointed out that many of the series removed no longer have physical copies available. Shows such as Mythbusters, Shark Week and Deadliest catch are among those that will be removed from all PlayStation libraries.
This highlights a problem bigger than affecting just consoles. Sony and Microsoft are continuing to move away from physical disc drives, suggesting that this will most likely become the standard practice in the future. However, streaming services will most likely be affected as well.
The argument for physical copies
Recently, Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan called streaming services “evil.” The director was talking about how he and his team always “put a lot of care and attention to the Blu-ray version, but also the 4k,” specifically mentioning The Dark Knight being formatted for Blu-ray.
“Trying to translate the photography and sound…putting that into the digital realm,” he continued.
“For a version that you can buy and own at home and put on a shelf so no evil streaming service can come and steal it from you,” he added to the audience's delight.
Warner Bros. Discovery seems to be spearheading this shift. The company, who claimed to be trying to reduce debt, recently made DC Super Hero Girls unavailable for purchase from major streamers, along with pulling Looney Tunes: Back in Action from Max.