The Wall Street Journal Dish Network is in discussions with NBC over Dish’s ad-skipping digital video recorder, the latest sign that a two-year-old standoff between Dish and major broadcasters is easing. While the talks are under way, NBC has put its lawsuit against Dish on hold, the people say. NBC is one of three major networks still in litigation with Dish over several features on its “Hopper” digital video recorder, including one that makes it easier to automatically skip commercials. WSJ subscribers can read the story here.
The companies announce a “wide-ranging” deal that paves the way for Dish to offer live local broadcasts from ABC TV stations and programming from ABC Family, Disney Channel, ESPN and ESPN2 over mobile devices, set-top boxes and other means, similar to how Netflix’s video streams are delivered today. The agreement also “will result in dismissal of all pending litigation between the two companies, including disputes over PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop.”
CBS chief Les Moonves is taking Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen at his word after he said this week that there’s a way for broadcasters to benefit from his Hopper DVR, which automatically zaps ads on recorded shows. “We’re very flexible. We’re willing to negotiate,” Les Moonves told investors today at the Guggenheim Securities TMT Symposium.
Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen said he’s still “cautiously optimistic” about reaching a long-term deal with Disney for ABC stations and ESPN and other cable channels, saying Dish is looking for a way to deliver ads to Hopper DVR customers that would make more money for the programmer.
An appeals court will have the opportunity to address the legality of place-shifting.
On Monday, a California judge made the latest ruling in the continuing legal saga over Dish’s ad-skipping Hopper. This one pertains to Dish’s Hopper with Sling, also known as “Dish Anywhere,” which was introduced with much fanfare at CES in January. Fox’s latest motion for a preliminary injunction has been denied. The ruling hasn’t been made public, but the parties are talking about what happened.
A federal appeals court says a lower court was correct in deciding against Fox’s request that Dish be blocked from offering its set-top box features that automatically record all primetime programming on the Big Four broadcast networks and then automatically skip all the commercials on playback.
Looking to push the focus to the “primary” screen, Dish Network has started a social media app connected to its Hopper DVR unit. Dish says the Social app is the first set-top-box app where viewers can watch TV shows and follow social media posts on the same screen.
His company has been labeled the “worst place to work in America,” he’s being sued by all four networks, and his ad-skipping Hopper could decimate TV industry economics. Here’s an examination of the troubling potential outcome of the entertainment business’ ugliest fight.
Kaley Cuoco, co-star of CBS’s The Big Bang Theory tweeted praise for Dish Network’s Hopper DVR as part of an endorsement deal with the satellite broadcaster. She said, “Amazing! Watching live TV anywhere on the #Hopper looks pretty awesome! Now where can I find a tiny beer? #ad” Then the tweet disappeared and Dish accused CBS of ordering her to take it down. CBS is engaged in a legal fight with Dish over the Hopper’s commercial-skipping feature.
Dish Network used some in-show branded entertainment to sneak into Fox Sports’ Daytona 500 coverage — this in the wake of ongoing legal activities between the two companies and after Dish said Fox rejected it from buying TV commercials in Fox programming.
As questions persist about the fate of Dish Network’s automatic ad-skipping technology, there is at least one certainty: money talks. CBS CEO Leslie Moonves has said unless Dish abandons the Hopper DVR, he won’t allow the satellite operator to carry CBS content. But he has also suggested that he would drop that push if Dish paid CBS $5 a month per subscriber. Station groups seem to have the same idea.
Dish Network is bringing back the “Boston guys” for a new ad campaign starting Monday to promote the new ad-skipping Hopper with Sling DVR. It shows viewers saying goodbye to commercials forever.
NBC, CBS and ABC were to hold settlement talks with Dish Network regarding their litigation over the Hopper DVR. But the networks wanted to cancel and a meeting was postponed until a ruling on a preliminary injunction.
When CBS torpedoed CNET’s planned “best of show” award for Dish’s Hopper, it may have also blown to bits broadcasters’ best chance for looser media ownership rules at the FCC. In a letter filed Tuesday with the FCC, public interest group Public Knowledge says CBS’s actions demonstrate unequivocally why the agency should ditch its proposal to loosen the rules, currently under review.
With the same fervor that some consumers display when skipping commercials with DVRs, some network executives want to eliminate a certain Dish Network device. But if they succeed, they’ll be ridding the world of an engineering feat. At least according to one group. The Consumer Electronics Association has named the AutoHop functionality an “honoree” for an innovative design and engineering award linked with its Consumer Electronics Show.
Judge Dolly Gee of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Monday struck down the request by Fox, according to a statement from Dish. A Fox spokesman confirmed the ruling but said the network would appeal.
The Genie has more storage, can be used in more rooms and offers an optional service to recommend shows — pitting it directly against rival Dish’s much-advertised Hopper.
It’s fitting that Dispatch Broadcast Group’s settlement of a carriage dispute with Dish Network came when it did, for today marks 20 years since the passage of the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act, the measure that created retransmission consent and a second revenue stream that is now critical to local television.
The broadcaster says the ad-zapping feature of Dish’s Hopper DVR is not a factor in the negotiations for a new retrans contract replacing the one that expires on Sunday.
Add Rep. John Dingell to the list of people who don’t like the new commercial-skipping function, known as Auro Hop on Dish Network’s new Hopper DVR. At a Wednesday hearing on video distribution held by the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Dingell complained that the service will allow potential voters to skip past political campaign messages.
Dish Network Corp. Chairman Charlie Ergen says a new ad-skipping feature that has infuriated major broadcast TV networks is a “competitively necessary” response to the explosion of cheap Internet video. That Web video threatens the pay-TV ecosystem, he added, and it is partly caused by the TV networks themselves.
Dish Network said Wednesday that Hoak Media has blocked access to 14 channels in markets in Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Nebraska and Colorado amid a carriage dispute that involves Dish’s ad-skipping DVR.
NBC Broadcasting Chairman Ted Harbert is not a fan of Dish Network’s new commercial-skipping device, the Auto Hop, which automatically deletes commercials from recorded primetime programming from the four big broadcast networks. “I think this is an attack on our ecosystem,” he said.