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Fox Sues Dish Network Over AutoHop

Fox network has filed what analysts believe will be the first of many TV network lawsuits against Dish Network for its new commercial-skipping feature called AutoHop. In return, Dish has countersued Fox, as well as NBC, CBS, and ABC.

“We were given no choice but to file suit against one of our largest distributors, Dish Network, because of their surprising move to market a product with the clear goal of violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem,” according to a Fox statement.

“Their wrongheaded decision requires us to take swift action in order to aggressively defend the future of free, over-the-air television.”

As opposed to manual fast-forwarding of time-shifted shows, AutoHop allows mass elimination of commercials of TV shows. Dish’s feature allows viewers to skip the four networks’ prime-time commercials, allowing viewers to see TV shows commercial-free the next day.

In its complaint, Dish is suing “for a declaratory judgment that the AutoHop feature does not infringe any copyright.” Dish says the AutoHop technology is not much different than fast-forwarding — where, according to some research, up to 75% of the time viewers can be found fast-forwarding through TV ads.

David Shull, senior vice president of programming for Dish Network, stated: “Viewers have been skipping commercials since the advent of the remote control; we are giving them a feature they want and that gives them more control… We don’t believe AutoHop will substantially change established consumer behavior, but we do believe it makes the viewing experience better

via MediaPost Publications Fox Sues Dish Network Over AutoHop 05/25/2012.


About Bob Innes

Who am I and what I do best! I am a skilled Sales and Marketing team player known for performing behind the scenes miracles that increase base distribution, improve customer relationship management, exceed annual sales volume,and profitability for Consumer Packaged Goods companies. And I've been doing it for over 15 years. My successful contributions include such clients as Kraft Foods, Mars, Bumble Bee Foods, Unilever, Johnson and Johnson and SC Johnson, and JM Smuckers.


2 thoughts on “Fox Sues Dish Network Over AutoHop

  1. I don’t understand why CBS, FOX, & NBC execs don’t want us to enjoy commercial-free TV. I’m a DISH employee – AutoHop is great because you can easily watch commercial-free TV. Public Knowledge, a consumer advocacy group, is taking a stand for consumers by creating a petition that tells CBS, FOX, & NBC media to keep their hands out of your living room & DVR. Sign their petition to keep control of how you watch TV http://bit.ly/KFdn1Q

    Posted by Marcus | 06/04/2012, 5:33 PM
    • Marcus,

      Thanks for your insight! However, without paid network and cable commercials, TV would become unaffordable. That model of advertisers paying networks for time is not likely to change soon no matter the invention such as autohop! I know Dish is offereing this as an “option,” Giving the consumer that choice isn’t feasible for networks or advertisers; it’s called ratings, that’s what sells commercial time and employees salaries.

      Best wishes,

      Bob Innes

      Posted by Bob Innes | 06/04/2012, 5:38 PM

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