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Why is Downton Abbey no longer available for streaming on PBS?

Unfortunately, as of February 1, 2024, PBS no longer holds the rights to offer episodes of Downton Abbey for streaming, even to members with the PBS Passport benefit. Without the streaming rights, we legally cannot offer its episodes on the PBS site or app. 

At this time, we cannot guarantee Downton Abbey will return for streaming on PBS in the near future.

As you may know, PBS is a distributor of content, rather than a producer, meaning we do not outright own the rights to videos shown on PBS. Any program or piece of television on PBS is a piece of intellectual property (just like a song or a book). With any piece of intellectual property come certain rights and allowances for the creators, consumers, and distributors like PBS. If a program is not available for viewing on pbs.org, it is because of the specific intellectual property rights associated with that show. 

We also must purchase streaming rights separately from television broadcast rights, and we are not always able to obtain the streaming rights for every program. This means our online content may be more limited than programs airing on your television. 

While PBS Passport does allow us to offer more content for online streaming, we are unable to offer every program for online streaming indefinitely due to the aforementioned streaming rights. If you have donated for your local PBS station's Passport benefit for a specific program that is unavailable to stream, and you would like to cancel your membership or request a refund, please contact your local PBS station via their website or the contact page here.

Shop PBS also continues to offer Downton Abbey for sale on physical media via their website, linked here. 

While we apologize for Downton Abbey leaving the PBS website and app, we hope you enjoy many of our other popular programs and dramas from PBS Masterpiece!