The world really is a strange place, even without all the hacking scandals and conspiracy theorists pointing this way and that.
The latest piece of evidence to support this assumption lies in how Dish Network got sued because it dared to offer its customers the option to skip commercials.
The Auto Hop feature is a free add-on for the Hopper DVR. When enabled, it automatically skips over commercials aired during shows broadcasted by ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC.
A true consumer's dream, no question, and we cannot stress enough that it is free. Maybe this is what got CBS, Fox and NBC so incensed, to the point where Fox even accused Auto Hop of “destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem.”
“By stealing FOX’s broadcast programming to create a bootleg video-on-demand service for all network primetime programming, DISH is undermining legitimate consumer choice by undercutting authorized on-demand services,” it said
Maybe it's just us, but we doubt all this flack would have been kicked up if, say, Auto Hop was pay-to-use and part of the money reached the broadcasts whose ads are skipped over.
NBC’s somewhat less presumptuous statement doesn't outright confirm this assumption, but it comes close.
“The U.S. broadcast networks cannot provide the news, sports and entertainment programming they have historically created and offered if the revenue-generating ads are systematically blotted out on an unauthorized basis by distributors like DISH,” it said in the suit filed with the U.S. District Court in California, the same one Fox approached.
We're not trying to give people ideas. Even though this matter doesn't affect us, the Auto Hop feature is something we see as a really neat idea.
For its part, Dish has filed its own complaint with a New York district court, seeking to get its service declared “in full compliance with copyright law and its re-broadcast agreements.”