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Major Networks Sue Dish Network for Killing Commercials Automatically

by Shane McGlaun

Not too long ago Dish Network announced that it had a new, and very also feature, called Auto Hop on its Hopper DVRs. This cool feature would go in after recording your favorite primetime television programs and delete all the commercials so you could watch without having to be bothered to fast-forward. TV executives don’t care how convenient it is to have a feature like Auto Hop come in and delete all those commercials none of us really want to watch.

I said at the time I would totally switch to Dish to get that feature, but I figured the future would be short-lived because television studios would sue. As expected, the Studios are now suing Dish over the feature. Fox, CBS, and NBC have all individually sued Dish Network for deleting their commercials. The only major network not suing Dish at this time is ABC.

Additionally, Dish Network has filed suit against all four major television studios seeking a declaration judgment by the courts of whether or not the feature is legal. I hope the courts say it’s legal, I would love to see this feature on all DVRs. Television studios need to understand that the vast majority of us no longer watch commercials and they’ll have to be more creative with their revenue streams. It’s not like there isn’t plenty of product placement and blatant advertising during the shows themselves these days anyway.

[via Hollywood Reporter]

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Comments (4):

  1. Rustin Haase says:

    This is real mixed bag of an issue for many people.

    Commercials are what pays for the production of TV shows. Cut them out from viewing and you ultimately cut out the funding for shows.

    Commercials can be fun to watch or annoying and frequently the net effect is for it to be annoying even when I’m watching a good one and someone decides to skip forward 1 minute to get on with the show. Overall commercials annoy even when they are good.

    Simply put:

    TV needs commercials to live.
    Commercial viewing will be stopping one way or another.


    TV is dead. (or not quite dead)

    It will, of course, tell that it feels fine, or would like to go for a walk but it will soon be on the cart of the dead along with the thigh-masters, glass pop bottles, AMC Reliants & half of the Beetles. Its not such a loss since Television is a big 20th century, imperial, mass mind control instrument anyway. (The TV is your friend and has nothing but the best planned for you. Why?, because it says so. – spooky in my book)

    The only hope for this anachronism that I can think of is in conveying current, “right now”, content like weather, disaster news, & of course sports. The industry should settle comfortably into that niche and stop trying to be everything for everyone. It just isn’t going to happen. Viewers now have the control, not the TV producers. They need to understand that in civilized societies people have two rights (among others), freedom of expression, & freedom to ignore any expression that comes their way and that applies to commercials.

  2. AkumaC4 says:

    Networks do not need commercials to make money, they also make money by allowing product placement, same happens with movies, for example the next Bond file will have Bond drink a Heineken instead of a Martini, for a fee of course, $50 Million!

    Look at British & other European TV networks, the BBC gets it’s revenue from the public paying for a TV license, there are no commercials/adverts on the BBC and product placement is also not allowed due to the laws with this public funding revenue.

    I’m a Brit living in the States, and I know plenty of Americans that would be willing to pay a bit more for good TV programming without commercials.

    Times need to change

  3. Aiden Burns says:

    Why don’t CBS, FOX, and NBC execs want consumers to enjoy commercial-free TV? It’s what we want! I’m a customer and employee of Dish, and I think Auto Hop is great because you can easily watch commercial-free TV. A well-known consumer advocacy group, Public Knowledge, agrees that people should have the right to control how they watch TV. They’re taking a stand for consumers by creating a petition that tells CBS, FOX, and NBC media to keep their hands out of your living room and DVR. Sign their petition to keep control of how you watch TV http://bit.ly/KigXAn

  4. Leroyjenkins says:

    Its not like it’s actual tv it’s just recordings.

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