Phillip Swann is president and publisher of TVPredictions.com. He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 703-505-3064.
Click TVPredictions.com to read more news and features on TV technology.
"This means that allowing your kids to watch TV doesn't have to mean they have no choice but to see commercials for junk good and alcohol," Ergen states in written testimony to the Communications and Technology which is holding a hearing today on the future of video.
Auto Hop, which was added last month to Dish's new Hopper HD DVR, allows viewers to watch the playback of a broadcast network show without ever seeing the commercials. The networks, sans ABC, are suing Dish over the ad-zapper, claiming it violates their copyright and licensing agreements. Dish has filed a countersuit and a court hearing on the dispute is scheduled for next month. The Washington Post reports that the broadcasters are not buying Ergen's argument.
"Mr. Ergen’s professed pro-parent stance rings hollow given that his Auto-Hop technology only eliminates ads on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC,” said Dennis Wharton, vice president at the National Association of Broadcasters. “Given that cable networks carry far more advertising for hard liquor products than do broadcast TV stations, it’s hard to view this as anything more than a DISH Network stunt designed to hide the fact that AutoHop violates U.S. copyright laws.”
But Ergen maintains that Auto Hop merely gives consumers greater choice in what they watch and how they watch it. 0;AutoHop technology takes the DVR to a new level, giving consumers the choice to more easily view their preferred programming when they want, while skipping what they don’t want to see,” Ergen adds.
The subcommittee today is also expected to tackle such subjects as whether cable operators are unfairly limiting Internet access to non-cable services such as Netflix. With Ergen and the networks on board, too, it should make for an interesting hearing.
Click to see TVPredictions.com's exclusive consumer survey on the Auto Hop.
Comment on this story below.
What do you think? Offer your comments below!