FOX Sues Dish Network Over Commercial Skipping Feature.
One of the biggest reasons people leave broadcast TV and instead opt for streaming services and a-la-carte internet-only options is 1) more choice and 2) less commercials. And it is #2 that is constantly causing controversy for consumers, broadcasters and advertisers alike.
The latest controversy: Dish Network’s “Auto Hop”. The way it works is that after 1am the following day a show airs, network shows on Fox, ABC, CBS, and NBC will automatically advance over commercials. We promise you that 100% of subscribers to Dish Network want and love this feature. But what we want as customers, the people who matter most, often gets tossed by the wayside.
Broadcasters (and advertisers), meanwhile, are already heading to the courtroom. Fox in particular has filed a lawsuit already stating that Dish Network’s Auto Hop violates copyrights and on a greater scale, harms Fox and its advertising partners:
“We were given no choice but to file suit against one of our largest distributors, DISH Network, because of their surprising move to market a product with the clear goal of violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem. Their wrongheaded decision requires us to take swift action in order to aggressively defend the future of free, over-the-air television.”
Dish Network maintains their product is 100% legal and has pushed onward by asking a judge to let them continue offering their Auto Hop feature despite the already heated remarks coming from broadcasters and advertisers. Most importantly, however, is the fact that Dish Network is not backing down. They have counter-sued Fox as well as opening individual lawsuits against ABC, CBS and NBC, too. (Via: Hollywood Reporter)
Another issue on deck – Fox’s lawsuit also attacks Dish Networks’ slinging/streaming features that lets customers stream paid content over the internet to their mobile devices — something FOX says violates their terms of service.
We sincerely hope a precedent can be set here, and that what customers truly want comes before a select few executives only looking to line their own pockets. Sadly, the pessimist (and realist) in us takes a quick look at history regarding such fights and know the days of Auto Hop are already numbered.