“Due to rights restrictions, this content cannot be streamed on Sling TV,” reads a message that users are shown when trying to view recent episodes of A&E’s Criminal Minds and Intervention.
Sling TV users have taken to Reddit to discuss the list of shows that have had new and archived episodes blacked out on the service, and the early indication is that rights issues are at the heart of the problem. With Netflix now negotiating for exclusive rights to past seasons of certain programs, the ability of Sling users to use the DVR-like functionality of Sling to pause and then rewind back to watch older episodes of those programs has been suspended.
A representative for Sling TV confirmed the rights issue to TechHive, and indicated that some shows on A&E, Lifetime and “other select channels” have indeed been restricted.
“When possible, these channels will offer other programming in place of the restricted content,” added the spokesperson.
The restrictions don’t seem to affect networks like ESPN, TBS, and Disney that only allow live streaming of their content, without the option to go back and view older programming. The networks that seem to be encountering the most restrictions thus far appear to be some recent additions to Sling: A&E, Lifetime, and LMN. In those cases, some but not all of the offerings for particular series and original movies have been blocked.
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