When TiVo and the other first DVRs hit the scene, people ate them up. Finally, for the first time, you could watch shows and movies when you wanted to. Sure, you could setup a VCR to record something at a specific time, but that was more hassle than it was worth. The other big feature was being able to quickly and easily skip commercials. Unfortunately, skipping commercials is getting harder and harder, as Dish Network is finding out.
For some time, Dish and Fox have been fighting over the ability to skip ads. Namely, Dish wants to use their Hopper to skip over ads, and Fox believes that doing so will destroy “”the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem.” Well, today, the companies have released a joint statement regarding a decision that has been reached. Take a look:
Fox Networks Group and DISH Network L.L.C. have reached an agreement resulting in the dismissal of all pending litigation between the two companies, including disputes over Slingbox technology and the AutoHop, PrimeTime Anytime and Transfers features. As part of the settlement, DISH’s AutoHop commercial-skipping functionality will not be available for owned and affiliated FOX stations until seven days after a program first airs.
This seems like a reasonable agreement for them to come to. After all, Fox distributes their content on their own website, as well as Hulu, eight days after broadcast. So making Dish subscribers wait that long to skip commercials seems fair.
The one thing that might be an issue for Dish is the fact that they advertise this feature, and many people have purchased Hoppers with this feature in mind. They may face a lot of negative feedback from customers who were promised a commercial-free viewing experience, in exchange for buying the Hopper. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dish finds themselves in the middle of another legal battle with their customers, over this.