Networks may withhold content from DISH if AutoHop litigation fails


In the last few months, DISH Network’s Hopper with Sling has provided near-constant fodder for news organizations like us. Apparently, if you provide people with the ability to automatically skip a few ads (AutoHop), a subsequent shower of fire and brimstone is pretty much inevitable. 

In reality, the only person who should really be peeved is the inventor of the fast-forward button, since the new feature pretty much obviates that particular function. Still, plenty of others are hopping mad, if you will, and the networks’ threats are getting graver as their legislative efforts have, thus far, come up empty.

One of the most prominent executives to speak out against Dish’s much maligned feature is CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, who has said that if Dish doesn’t put the kibosh on its Hopper DVR, the company he helms will cut ties with the service provider. He did offer one other proviso, however: If Dish agrees to pay CBS $5/mo per subscriber, it can keep its CBS content.

Dish says that, initially, other networks pushed for an AutoHop tax of sorts, but it managed to negotiate agreements without the added fees. If such costs become conditional of future agreements, or worse, if networks quit dealing with the company, it could sound the death knell for AutoHop.

Right now, however, it’s difficult to tell if threats by execs like Moonves will prove to be idle bluster, or serious ultimatums. Still, one thing’s for sure: Dish has everybody all riled up.

Stay tuned for further coverage. You won’t have to wait long