Disney skips past Dish Network’s Auto-Hop
Disney cracked the Dish . . . Network, that is. According to the Wall Street Journal, in order to retain the rights to carry Disney channels like ESPN and ABC, the satellite TV distributor agreed to disable their popular ad-skipping feature on its Hopper network DVR for a total of 3 days following a program’s broadcast. Unnamed sources add that the agreement also includes ABC dropping its litigation although the specific financial details were unavailable as this goes to press.
Dish Network’s DVR Auto-Hop feature which automatically skips all broadcast commercials is much loved by customers but has been under attack in the courtroom. Disney, however, chose to negotiate rather than go through a protracted legal battle. For those unfamiliar with the contentious feature, the Auto-Hop function permits users to instantly skip advertisements on broadcast television recordings.
It is loved by consumer advocate groups and hated by television network programmers. Networks such as Disney claim that Auto-Hop could very well abolish the established advertising system that sustains program content. They argue that because of this the Dish Network does not have any right to meddle with commercials from broadcasted replays for its own commercial and monetary interests. Dish Network responded that their customers should have a right to privately view programs whenever and wherever they wish.
Disney, like other networks embroiled in battle with Dish, has not made any headway until now. By agreeing to drop legal action and utilizing their different high-demand channels as negotiating leverage they have managed to push the pause button on the commercial-skipping Auto-Hop feature. Experts note, however, that this move relied heavily on timing as contracts between companies like Disney and Dish Network are long term arrangements with literally years between signings and expiration dates. Spokespeople for both Disney and Dish had not yet responded to further inquiries when this went to press. Stay tuned for further developments.
(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)