Discovery has decided to offer new episodes of several popular Discovery-branded shows as Discovery+ exclusives. The move is designed to attract new subscribers to the streaming service, but ‘old’ subscribers to Discovery-owned channels on cable and satellite are crying foul, saying the company is forcing them to pay more money to continue watching their favorites.
Since Discovery+ launched on January 4, the service has been the exclusive home of new episodes of several shows that have built strong followings on channels such as Discovery, HGTV, the Travel Channel, the Food Network and TLC. The shows that now air their new episodes on the streaming service includes Property Brothers: Forever Home, Ghost Adventures, and Paranormal: Caught On Camera.
“We are experimenting with some show premieres on Discovery+ during a brief window during the service’s launch,” Discovery’s Cara Brugnoli told the TV Answer Man via e-mail. “That said, we remain committed to serving our pay-TV fans with the shows and talent they love and value. The vast majority of Discovery content premieres on linear, with current seasons largely exclusive to our traditional pay-TV offering.”
Brugnoli did not respond to our questions regarding whether past episodes or entire seasons of Discovery-owned shows have been moved to Discovery+. But the exclusive airing of new episodes is enough to get longtime Discovery viewers hopping mad. Discovery+’s monthly plans start at $4.99 and Discovery viewers say they already pay too much for their cable and satellite subscriptions. They have taken to social media sites, and sent e-mails to this site, to register their anger.
“We have Dish and all of our most loved shows are on the discovery shows,” ‘Jennifer Taylor” wrote in the TV Answer Man readers forum. “Travel channels ghost shows like ghost adventures…no more new episodes. They keep advertising the Cecil Hotel investigation only on discovery plus. We are a disabled couple barely surviving on ssdi! How cruel to do this to us! Even more so during these insane times! My blood pressure is rising right now because I am so pissed off…better stop for now! This is just so cruel & unfair!”
“I’m with you Jennifer!!! On a fixed income and can barely afford the cable company I use…it’s all my paranormal shows leaving the Travel Channel channel and I would have to pay $4.99 for that too??? I don’t think so!!! I love those shows and I was already paying for them all!!! Yes, my blood pressure too is rising!!! And I’m on medication!!!” added ‘Pixie Sweeney.’
“Totally agree !!! Also Ghost Nation, American Monster, all the shows that have started new seasons. They are showing one new episode and showing in the bottom right corner that all new episodes are moving. This is not fair. Is it legal? Seems like they’re trying to double dip,” wrote ‘Rosemary Huckaby.’
Several viewers say Discovery’s effort to get fans to subscribe to pay TV services as well as buy the new streaming service is particularly unfair during an international pandemic that has left many consumers struggling to make ends meet. Some say they will never get Discovery+ because they are so angry with the company’s decision.
“I will not budge, no matter how much I enjoy the shows. If we start paying them this money, there will be no stop to this behavior and they will continue to raise the price with other networks following their example. Boycott and stop the greed.” writes ‘JM Fran.’
“I am seething right now about the new Discovery+ streaming channel! ‘Barbara’ from San Diego wrote in an e-mail to the TV Answer Man. “Literally, ALL of my favorite channels and shows fall under the Discovery umbrella that I already PAY for with my cable subscription. And now I’m finding out that new content for my favorite shows has been moved to Discovery+ and they want me to pay EVEN MORE!! With all of the financial hardships that we are going through with the virus and being locked down they now want us to pay more for shows that give us a little relief?? Furthermore, I would have to get a new phone AND tablet in order to run their app!! This is PURE GREED! I’m going to look into alternative ways to access my shows and I’ll probably end up canceling my cable altogether. What good is it other than a place to watch stale reruns, some news, Judge Judy, and infomercials? It’s sickening! Discovery can go to Hell! Mr. Swann, I don’t expect you to be able to do anything, as it sounds like the Discovery+ people are dodging you.”
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— Phillip Swann