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Dish Sponsors Daytona 500 Race Car Following Fox Snub

24 Feb, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Dish Network is the title sponsor for the No. 95 Dish Ford Fusion race car driven by Scott Speed in the 55th running of NASCAR’s Daytona 500 Feb. 24 in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Dish logo is featured prominently on the virtually ad-free No. 95 car.

The satellite TV operator made the announcement Feb. 23 after it said Fox Broadcasting Co. refused to air ads during stock car racing’s televised marquee event for the Hopper digital video recorder.

Fox and Dish are embroiled in litigation over Hopper, specifically functionality (dubbed AutoHop) that allows users to skip commercials on recorded programming, and separately watch on portable media devices with, or without, Internet connection.

On Feb. 21 Fox filed a court motion asking a federal judge to grant a preliminary injunction against the Hopper’s new app (dubbed “Hopper Transfers”) that enables subscribers to access recorded programming on tablets and smartphones. Fox contends Dish, through its carriage agreement, does not have the right to transfer its programming beyond the TV.

Judge Dolly Gee last year denied Fox’s request for a preliminary injunction against AutoHop.

“We are giving consumers what they want, when they want and where they want it. Fox is trying to hold up traffic. You can’t stop the future,” Dish CEO Joe Clayton said in a statement regarding the Daytona 500 sponsorship.

The CEO said the Hopper is ideal for catching recorded race highlights and other coverage at the hotel after the race.

Race driver Speed will start 31st at Daytona — 30 spots behind Danica Patrick who made history by becoming the first woman to take the pole position in the race’s 54-year history. Patrick is the only woman to win an Indy car race and holds the highest finish (third place) by a woman at the Indianapolis 500.


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