Friday, June 28, 2024

Removing Archives of Comedy Central and MTV News

Rick Porter:

A pop-up window on the Comedy Central site reads, “While episodes of most Comedy Central series are no longer available on this website, you can watch Comedy Central through your TV provider. You can also sign up for Paramount+ to watch many seasons of Comedy Central shows.”


As noted by LateNighter, the cleaning out of the Comedy Central site in particular wipes out a huge trove of archival material from The Daily Show and other late night series, along with clips from South Park, Key & Peele and Workaholics, among many others. Some of that material is available on YouTube, but it’s not as easily searchable or accessible as it was on the network page. (The oldest video on the Daily Show YouTube channel, for instance, is from 2016, while the show’s history stretches back 20 years before then.)

Todd Spangler:

The move to scrub content from Comedy Central comes after Paramount similarly pulled the full archive of MTV News from the internet on Monday, as well as articles from CMT.

What’s odd is that they aren’t bothering to sell access direct to the content nor even make it available on the paid Paramount+ service.

Nick Heer:

I will not pretend to understand how big of a financial hole Paramount is in, but I fully understand the loss of this archive. Most of the video clips are not available anywhere else — at least, not publicly and not legally. Much of the text on MTV News has been saved by the Internet Archive going back to 1996, but it also has huge gaps.

Dare Obasanjo:

I assumed Paramount would be one of the streaming services that wouldn’t make it but I didn’t expect the company to struggle so much it would rather delete its websites than maintain them.

Sarah Kessler:

In a storage unit somewhere in Philadelphia, 140,000 VHS tapes sit packed into four shipping containers. Most are hand-labeled with a date between 1977 and 2012, and if you pop one into a VCR you might see scenes from the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the Reagan Administration, or Hurricane Katrina.

It’s 35 years of history through the lens of TV news, captured on a dwindling format.

It’s also the life work of Marion Stokes, who built an archive of network, local, and cable news, in her home, one tape at a time, recording every major (and trivial) news event until the day she died in 2012 at the age of 83 of lung disease.


Update (2024-07-02): See also: Hacker News.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

The archive from NSConference is also mostly gone. NSConf 7 is sill on vimeo, but NSConf 6 only shows 4 videos... internet archive doesn't have copies either. Not sure if it's "too old" and NSConf 7 will be gone soon, too or if there're other reasons. Internet is a very short lived medium 😕

Piracy is a virtue.

I knew someone in the late 80s / early 90s who was a retiree but made a substantial retirement income auditing that commercials paid for had actually aired on broadcast TV in the purchased slots. He had about 5 VCRs that just recorded and logged commercials.

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