Check the goring on that ox

Dish Network is offering a new DVR called the Hopper, which offers the time-shifted viewer of primetime shows the option of automatically skipping commercials. It is possible, I suppose, that some small number of users might toggle off that option because they want to see the ads, but there’s probably not enough of them to mollify the three broadcast networks who have filed suit against Dish for having the temerity to mock their sacred business model.

And speaking of obsolete dinosaurs trying desperately to retain a foothold in a new biosphere:

At a … hearing on video distribution held by the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, [Rep. John] Dingell [D-MI] complained that the service will allow potential voters to skip past important commercial messages.

“I’ve got an election coming up, like all my colleagues,” Dingell said, during his questioning of Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen. “We all put political ads on the local stations to reach our constituents. The Hopper potentially limits the ability of every member of this subcommittee to reach constituents to help them make up their minds on Election Day.”

Don’t worry, Johnny. Chief Justice Roberts will find some way to characterize it as a tax.

(Via Coyote Blog.)


  1. hatless in hattiesburg »

    5 July 2012 · 12:45 pm

    yeah, politicians tax our patience almost as much as our pockets these days…

  2. Nicole »

    5 July 2012 · 6:44 pm

    I’d venture a guess that whether or not a device does it for you automatically, almost everyone who records tv to watch later skips the commercials already. Dinosaurs indeed. Where’s an asteroid when you need one?

  3. jsallison »

    5 July 2012 · 7:17 pm

    {homermode=1} Broadcast networks? Are they still around? {homermode=0}

  4. Titanius »

    5 July 2012 · 9:01 pm

    I do agree that this may cause Americans to miss out on important information during election time, but I am certain that there are other venues that can be used to reach them as well. With kids, school, and work full time at Dish it’s a challenge trying to find time to think, let alone TV. Now that I have the Auto Hop feature it is not just the kids that get to watch TV. The Hopper is the next evolution in TV. I wonder how long it will take the other networks to follow suite.

  5. Marcel Jackson »

    11 July 2012 · 6:57 pm

    Why don’t CBS, FOX, and NBC execs want consumers to enjoy commercial-free TV? It’s what we want! I’m a customer and employee of Dish, and I think Auto Hop is great because you can easily watch commercial-free TV. A well-known consumer advocacy group, Public Knowledge, agrees that people should have the right to control how they watch TV. They’re taking a stand for consumers by creating a petition that tells CBS, FOX, and NBC media to keep their hands out of your living room and DVR. Sign their petition to keep control of how you watch TV

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