Dish Markets Hopper Diss by CBS21 Jan, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Proving that controversy can be a marketer’s dream, Dish Network took out full-page ads in select newspapers nationwide Jan. 20 touting its Hopper digital video recorder with the AutoHop ad-skipping feature being named “Best in Show” at the recent International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Notable in the ad was an asterisk with the headline, “Dish Hopper Named Best in Show,” followed with the question: “What’s an asterisk doing in our award?”
The ad then went on to explain that CBS “will go to any lengths” to keep consumers from enjoying its Hopper DVR — even going so far as to censor its own writers and throw out their decision to name Hopper “Best in Show.”
Indeed, CBS nixed the award given annually at the end of CES by editors from CNET, the tech website owned by the media giant. CNET during the trade show issued a press release lauding Hopper as being “almost perfect.”
The “Hopper with Sling” DVR, which allows users to watch programming on different devices, more importantly enables users to automatically skip TV ads on recorded primetime network shows.
CBS has joined other broadcasters such as ABC, Fox and NBC in filing lawsuits against Dish. A Los Angeles judge recently ruled against Fox’s attempt to seek a preliminary injunction against Hopper.
Regardless, CBS’ corporate decision led CNET writer Greg Sandoval to tender his resignation in protest.