It would appear that the news of CNET’s official kicking of DISH’s Hopper technology from their “Best Of CES” list on orders from parent company CBS has cost them their spot as the official partner running the awards program. CNET has been the official CES partner in charge of selecting the Best of CES awards for several years but will, according to the press release from CES today, no longer be a part of the program from this point forward. The events that lead up to this situation involve CBS – the parent company of CNET at the moment – and their litigation against DISH, and it’s not pretty.
The original selection for best of show for CES 2013 by the staff at CNET was DISH’s Hopper with Sling Whole-Home HD DVR. When they announced this, CBS essentially swatted them down, telling them that they’d have to re-select the best because of an ongoing legal battle between CBS and DISH. The staff re-selected the best of show as the Razer Edge gaming tablet and that was that. Except that wasn’t that, and a massive fallout began to unfold.
In addition to bad blood and some jobs being self-terminated due to “journalistic integrity”, essentially, the largest result appears to be the Consumer Electronica Association taking back sole control of the CES awards. The CEA runs CES, if you did not know, and CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro has let loose some harsh words for the likes of CBS and CNET, including, but not limited to: “We are shocked that the ‘Tiffany’ network which is known for its high journalistic standards would bar all its reporters from favorably describing classes of technology the network does not like.”
This set of words included in the note released today also brought forth the fact that the CEA will soon be looking for new help. The CEA has announced that they’ll be issuing a request for proposal (RFP) aimed at identifying a new partner to run the Best of CES awards program from this point forward.
This request is joined by assurances that “CES has enjoyed a long and productive partnership with CNET and the Best of CES awards” but that “the new review policy will have a negative impact on our brand should we continue the awards relationship as currently constructed.” This is of course in reference to the CBS edict that no reviews will be posted by CNET if they include products or technology currently included in litigation involving the company.
What do you think about this whole situation? Are you on one side of the argument or the other, or do you simply not know where you stand on everything at once?