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Dish Network is heading to court with several major broadcasters, with a focus on skipping ads

Fox, NBC and CBS are taking Dish Network to court because of a new feature that allows subscribers to skip over commercials in recorded content.

Dish is currently the No. 2 satellite TV provider with 14 million subscribers, and also filed suit to make ad-skipping acceptable with an official judgment.

If the current dispute isn’t handled immediately, there is a chance that it could cause distributors to pull their content from Dish.

The company’s “AutoHop” feature is unique because subscribers are able to skip all of the commercials, instead of fast-forwarding and jumping in small segments. AutoHop isn’t available to all 14M subscribers, and can only be used to skip commercials for prime-time broadcast TV episodes.

“Viewers have been skipping commercials since the advent of the remote control," said David Shull, Dish Senior VP of programming, in a statement. “We are giving them a feature they want and that gives them more control."

As more TV viewers watch TV episodes and movies on-demand on their DVRs, advertisers and TV broadcasters are looking to better monetize their content. The TV ad industry nears $20 billion per year, but advertisers are increasingly worried about DVR viewers -- a continually growing number -- simply skipping ads of recorded programs.

Fox and several other major broadcasts prohibit users from fast forwarding through on-demand content, so they have to wait for the ads to finish. In its licensing agreement with Dish, for example, Fox says the provider can retransmit prime-time content, though fast forwarding through commercials is prohibited.

Dish doesn’t believe AutoHop will make a long-term impact on whether or not commercials are viewed, but the big four broadcasters and Time Warner Cable strongly disagree.

After the service was first announced, Dish reportedly welcomed input from broadcasters, but there were immediate rumors of possible lawsuits. It should prove interesting to see which side wins the court debate, because it could have a major ripple effect hitting advertisers and subscribers.

Source: New York Times

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This is one of those instances
By Mathos on 5/25/2012 9:58:17 AM , Rating: 2
Where the federal government needs to step in and protect consumers rights. Essentially all advertisers and these TV broadcast networks are trying to double or triple dip. They already charge the service providers a licensing fee to be able to offer their content as part of their channel line up. Then, they also are paid by the advertising company, to show ads in "commercial breaks" during the sitcom/event. I tend to refer to those as drink, sammich, or restroom breaks. Now also add on to this, that these broadcast companies are also paid for product placement inside of the sitcom/show they are making or showing. Snapple and Sienfeld for example. Or clever placement of a coca cola can or sign in some other shows, etc.

Notice these are also the same groups that want to make it so you can't receive over the air broadcasting for free. This is one of those situations where the government needs to step in and say hey ppl have a right to not have advertising shoved down their throat 24/7 and should be allowed to skip ads, and no you can't pass the cost on to consumers.

RE: This is one of those instances
By GatoRat on 5/25/2012 9:57:07 AM , Rating: 2
TV isn't a right nor a necessity. I cancelled my satellite TV and now use Hulu and Netflix. I may start using Amazon. There are a few shows I haven't been able to watch and I don't particularly care.

Dish has the right to add an ad-skipping feature to their product and the networks have a right to not let Dish broadcast their content.

Your last point makes no sense. The government should force companies to provide a service for free? Who's going to pay for it? Taxes? Again, people are NOT having advertising shoved down their throats, they are willingly accepting advertising in exchange for entertainment.

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