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Media Companies Fight Back Against Ad-Skipping DVR

17 May, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Fallout from Dish Network’s launch of a DVR that allows users to skip ads on network primetime programming was swift with Fox Network May 16 announcing it no longer would carry ads citing Dish’s “Auto Hop” technology or video spots for the Hopper digital video recorder.

Dish May 10 announced it would begin rolling out technology for its Hopper-branded HD DVR that allows customers to skip all commercials for most recorded primetime HD programs shown on ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC only. The technology applies to recorded programming and not live broadcasts.

Ted Harbert, chairman of NBC Broadcasting, called “Auto Hop” an insult to the TV ecosystem.

Les Moonves, CEO of CBS Corp., May 16 warned that rollout of the technology is illegal and reaches “a tipping point’ whereby broadcasters could drop programming to Dish subscribers and/or demand higher retransmission fees in the future.

“How am I going to produce 'CSI' for $4 million without ads?” Moonves told reporters at the upfront for The CW, according to the Wall Street Journal. “I can't do that. I can't give the audience that kind of quality.”

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