Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dish Network fired back at Fox Broadcasting on Thursday by filling a suit of its own to protect its Hopper product that lets users fast-forward through ads.

In the initial suit filed by Fox, the network claims Dish’s Hopper which lets users stream shows commercial-free infringes on its contract with the satellite company.

Dish Network filed a suit asking a federal judge to rule that the ad-hopping product does not violate any copyright laws. Included in Dish’s suit is CBS, ABC, and Comcast Corp., the Los Angeles Times reported.

“Although the broadcasters have made much of their content available for free using sites such as Hulu, they have continued to demand substantial increases in their retransmission fees,” the statement notes.

“Consumers should be able to fairly choose for themselves what they do and do not want to watch,” David Shull, DISH senior vice president of programming, noted in the statement.

“Viewers have been skipping commercials since the advent of the remote control; we are giving them a feature they want and that gives them more control.”

Deadline reports that the product also lets users record a show and skip over the advertisements two hours after the recording. Clearly, this would be a problem for broadcasting companies that make a huge profit from ad slots.

When television executive met with advertisers in New York this month, Paul Lee, the president of ABC Entertainment Group, reportedly said the company is “not supportive of anything that doesn’t support our advertisers.”