Dish Sues Fox to Protect Its Ad-Zapping DVR

Mashable

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.

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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.

Dish sent a statement to Mashable explaining that the company's subscribers fees include "significant retransmission fees" that Dish ends up paying to the networks.

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"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.”

Numerous TV executives echoed that statement, essentially saying ads pay for their programming.

Representatives from Fox Broadcasting and Dish Network did not respond to a request for comment.

What do you think about this lawsuit? Tell us in the comments.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto, courtneyK

This story originally published on Mashable here.

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