CBS CEO: Dish's Ad-Zapper Is Illegal
(May 18, 2012)
-- CBS CEO Les Moonves told the Wrap.com yesterday that Dish
Network's new Auto Hop feature, which eliminates network
commercials during recorded playback, is illegal.
put our content on without commercials," Moonves told the web
site. "They just can't do it. It's illegal." The CBS executive
stopped short of saying the networks would sue Dish, but he
added, "You never know."
Moonves' comment is the latest
salvo in the networks' attack on Auto Hop,
which was added last week to the satcaster's Hopper HD DVR. The
feature, which automatically skips commercials, only works with
the set-top's 'PrimeTime Anytime' network recordings. (The
Hopper automatically records all primetime shows on ABC, Fox,
NBC and CBS.)
NBC Chairman Ted Harbert last week said Auto Hop was an "insult"
and an "attack" and Fox announced that it would not run any Dish
commercials that promoted Auto Hop.
Moonves said Auto Hop could dramatically change how the networks
operate, saying it would be impossible to produce a show like
CSI without viewers seeing the show's ads.
Dish has maintained
that Auto Hop merely gives viewers what they want -- an easier
way to watch their favorite shows without commercial
interruption. But Moonves' comment yesterday suggests that the
networks will not allow it to continue without a fight.