'Hopper' named 'Best of Show' CES 2013 by CNET - award withdrawn due to litigation - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 91 Old 01-14-2013, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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CNET's pick for 'Best of Show' at CES has fallen victim to litigation between CBS and Dish Network. The Hopper set-top box from Dish Network includes a feature - which gives it its name- allowing commercials to be skipped. Major networks have objected and filed lawsuits - this was back in May 2012. The other contentious feature- new for 2013 - is the ability to take program content from the DVR and send it to a mobile device or tablet. CBS owns CNET, once word of the award spread to the corporate offices, the choice was vetoed. The 'Best of Show' award was given to the Razer 'Edge' gaming tablet instead.

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Apparently the move to strike the Hopper from the awards was passed down directly to Larkin from the office of CBS CEO, Leslie Moonves. Moonves has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the Hopper, telling investors at one point, "Hopper cannot exist... if Hopper exists, we will not be in business with (Dish)."
http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/14/3874682/exclusive-cbs-forced-cnet-editors-to-recast-vote-after-hopper-win
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Dish has consistently innovated on technology, offering customers cutting edge features before they realized they needed them. They were the first content delivery network to integrate a DVR into a set top box (triggering a 2004 patent infringement suit from Tivo). Last May they ruffled more than a few feathers in the television world with their Hopper DVR, so named because it allowed users to automatically "hop" over commercials (it also let users record the entire network primetime lineup at a whack). They were sued almost immediately by CBS, NBC and Fox. Naturally Dish countersued, alleging the networks were attempting to "stifle" its products.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/new-dish-hopper-slingbox-tech-410198
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The new all-in-one digital video recorder and set-top box, revealed Monday at a press conference ahead of the International CES trade show in Las Vegas, is adorned with the same kangaroo logo and can transfer recorded TV shows or movies to an iPad for viewing any time.
Dish is the first cable or satellite company to offer such a feature. It may raise eyebrows in Hollywood and among the TV networks that supply the satellite broadcaster with programming because it could dig into the extra revenue they get from sales of content for offline viewing through iTunes.
http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_22327728/ces-new-dish-set-top-box-sends-recorded

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post #2 of 91 Old 01-14-2013, 01:02 PM
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Opinions influenced by corporate. I don't trust CNETs reviews anymore.

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post #3 of 91 Old 01-14-2013, 01:31 PM
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I guess all the major networks are blind to the fact that most folks with a DVR have one so the can "hop" over the commercials in pre-recorded shows.

I for one despise commercials on TV. I well understand the economics of why they are there and also understand why all the networks conspire to have prime time commercials all on at the same points during their broadcasts so one cannot channel hop and watch other content to avoid a commercial. How is that for collusion?

We as consumers have a right to now watch any content broadcast via paid transmission means (cable or satellite) or free via off the air antenna.

Trying to sue an innovative company like Dish for just making what many of us already do easier should not be grounds for a litigation or boycott. If the basis for litigation were the aid in hopping over commercials then I guess any device with a remote or a DVR should be banned.

Vote with your remote...don't watch CBS content.
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post #4 of 91 Old 01-14-2013, 02:17 PM
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I spoke to a DISH rep at CES and asked how they detect commercials since the networks have been fighting a technical way to do this for years. He said they actually have a bunch of people in rooms watching the shows and marking times when commercials start and stop. Pretty clever, although the drawback is that you have to wait to the next day to auto-skip commercials on shows, probably so that the data for the shows is compiled directly.
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post #5 of 91 Old 01-14-2013, 02:39 PM
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I read a study which showed that those using DVRs actually "see" more commercials than those who don't--not messages or spoken word, but corporate logos and such. Because you normally tune out commercials but when forwarding on the DVR you're actually watching attentively. The message to advertisers is to use graphics and keep the message simple.

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post #6 of 91 Old 01-14-2013, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are a few words from CNET: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30677_3-57563877-244/the-2013-best-of-ces-awards-cnets-story/
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post #7 of 91 Old 01-14-2013, 04:21 PM
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Sadly, my torrents of my CBS shows have no commercials to skip.
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post #8 of 91 Old 01-14-2013, 04:26 PM
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I HOPE the Consumer Electronics Association chooses someone else to run their Best of CES awards. C|NET didn't have the balls to stand up to corporate so they don't deserve the responsibility of choosing winners.

While I understand the need for commercials in OTA broadcasts, WHY do we have commercials in our $100-a-month satellite and cable programming? The idea was to PAY a monthly fee to NOT have commercials in our channels. It is the cable networks that have broken their promise to their subscribers to offer up commercial-free programming for a monthly fee.
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post #9 of 91 Old 01-15-2013, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by jevans64 View Post

I HOPE the Consumer Electronics Association chooses someone else to run their Best of CES awards. C|NET didn't have the balls to stand up to corporate so they don't deserve the responsibility of choosing winners.

While I understand the need for commercials in OTA broadcasts, WHY do we have commercials in our $100-a-month satellite and cable programming? The idea was to PAY a monthly fee to NOT have commercials in our channels. It is the cable networks that have broken their promise to their subscribers to offer up commercial-free programming for a monthly fee.

because all those big TV salaries need to be paid! when you read about all your favorite stars hiring big time agents and demanding obscene raise after obscene raise, keep in mind it is me and you who are paying for that through both increased cable rates and commercials.
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post #10 of 91 Old 01-15-2013, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Sure, but where do you find 'someone else' that has the credibility and the integrity? The CNET staff is clearly very upset, they know the hit their credibility just took.
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Originally Posted by jevans64 View Post

I HOPE the Consumer Electronics Association chooses someone else to run their Best of CES awards. C|NET didn't have the balls to stand up to corporate so they don't deserve the responsibility of choosing winners.

While I understand the need for commercials in OTA broadcasts, WHY do we have commercials in our $100-a-month satellite and cable programming? The idea was to PAY a monthly fee to NOT have commercials in our channels. It is the cable networks that have broken their promise to their subscribers to offer up commercial-free programming for a monthly fee.

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post #11 of 91 Old 01-15-2013, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jevans64 View Post

C|NET didn't have the balls to stand up to corporate so they don't deserve the responsibility of choosing winners.

Spoken like someone who's been there before. Please, enlighten us with your story- a time when you stepped down from your job to protest a decision out of your control.

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post #12 of 91 Old 01-15-2013, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Here are a few words from CNET: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30677_3-57563877-244/the-2013-best-of-ces-awards-cnets-story/
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Lindsey Turrentine - Its family of writers is unbiased

Now that's funny and also 100% false.

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post #13 of 91 Old 01-15-2013, 08:28 AM
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While I understand the need for commercials in OTA broadcasts, WHY do we have commercials in our $100-a-month satellite and cable programming? The idea was to PAY a monthly fee to NOT have commercials in our channels. It is the cable networks that have broken their promise to their subscribers to offer up commercial-free programming for a monthly fee.

Where do people get this idea? The idea of cable was NEVER to eliminate commercials but to expand content available beyond the handful of local channels you could receive OTA. Your cable bill is to cover the infrastructure costs, costs for the carrier to actually carry the channel, and provide a profit for the cable company - not to cover the commercial revenues.

Like them or not, commercials are what pay for the content on TV. If people can stop watching them all together (aka the hopper), the advertisers will stop paying enough money to cover the production costs and TV as we know it will cease to exist. Not saying that is a bad thing, but if you like the current TV model everyone can't opt out of it and still get to have it.
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post #14 of 91 Old 01-15-2013, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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It is premium channels that promise uninterrupted programming. Imagine if people's cable bill reflected the true costs of creating all the content that is aired on basic cable! As for skipping ads... if that's the future then people need to prepare themselves for increased product placement within shows - otherwise many more cable channels will become 'premium'.

Personally, I'd like having an a la carte/on demand option for cable programming. I do not subscribe to cable, I put the money into the highest tier of Internet service instead.
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Where do people get this idea? The idea of cable was NEVER to eliminate commercials but to expand content available beyond the handful of local channels you could receive OTA. Your cable bill is to cover the infrastructure costs, costs for the carrier to actually carry the channel, and provide a profit for the cable company - not to cover the commercial revenues.

Like them or not, commercials are what pay for the content on TV. If people can stop watching them all together (aka the hopper), the advertisers will stop paying enough money to cover the production costs and TV as we know it will cease to exist. Not saying that is a bad thing, but if you like the current TV model everyone can't opt out of it and still get to have it.

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post #15 of 91 Old 01-15-2013, 08:44 AM
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Thanks for making that clear.
No one would pay the amount of money that it would cost, to provide first-class commercial-free TV. Your local network affiliates alone, would cost you hundreds a month.

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post #16 of 91 Old 01-15-2013, 08:58 AM
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Wow, F CNET!

I hope the DISH lawyers use this info to their advantage.

I am very happy with my Hopper, now I don't have to push a button 3 times to skip all the stupid commercials rolleyes.gif

I actually see more of the commercials with Hopper, because it takes 5-10 seconds to start hopping
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post #17 of 91 Old 01-15-2013, 08:59 AM
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As much as I hate sitting through advertisements I understand it's a necessary evil. It pays for the shows I watch, while I pay the cable company to deliver me content I can't receive OTA.

As BartMan said, cable was never intended to eliminate advertisements. It simply brought you channels you otherwise wouldn't be able to receive depending on your location. I believe people confuse "cable" with "pay cable", as the only true "pay cable" networks require extra fees on top of a standard cable bill. This would be networks like HBO, Starz, Showtime, and various movie channels. These are actual "pay cable" networks and they don't have advertisements.

The cost to have cable/internet delivered to your home isn't going towards cable networks, it's going to the infrastructure costs of the cable company. Despite what many people seem to think, it costs a lot of money to maintain cable and internet service at your home. Your monthly bill is only paying for a very small portion of that.

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post #18 of 91 Old 01-15-2013, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

Thanks for making that clear.
No one would pay the amount of money that it would cost, to provide first-class commercial-free TV. Your local network affiliates alone, would cost you hundreds a month.

Well the movie industry does it just fine. So does Sirius / XM. Why can't TV? The magnificent Sony TV Digital Concert Hall is the best money I have ever spent for high quality content without commercials although I admittedly am a classical music freak.

I completely agree that no-one would pay the amount to cover the costs of 1000 channels of "first-class" (writing that made me retch) TV. BUT people would gladly pay $50 - $100 a month for commercial free TV for shows that they actually watch. I would pay $40 a month for HBO and HBO only. Shut up and take my money.

Why am I paying to watch the Brazillian butt lift channel WITH commercials? Why am I paying to watch 65 ESPN channels of college football cult worship? Who in the world can even watch 1000 channels of TV? Even the Duggars with a bad case of the flu and 15 televisions in their house would even watch a hundredth of the content available on the most minimal and mandatory Direct TV / Dish network package ?

What we are witnessing firsthand is the result of an unstoppable force (cable TV industry) meeting an immovable object (market driven consumer demand). I am glad Dish fired the first volley here. The Best of Show award was given to Dish for precisely this reason. They made a product that has the highest demand from consumers that put a dent in the ego's of the most obscenely bloated industry in America.

Kim Kardashian and Tyler Perry are the highest paid people in showbusiness because of this business model. GTFO here! They could use a little fat trimming.

Just imagine if what I suggested came true, i.e., a-la-carte cafeteria style commercial free cable TV. Just think of the positive effect this would have on society. Who would actually subscribe to the Honey-Boo-Boo channel? Who would actually subscribe to the Shawty Lo channel?
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post #19 of 91 Old 01-15-2013, 11:23 AM
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Just imagine if what I suggested came true, i.e., a-la-carte cafeteria style commercial free cable TV. Just think of the positive effect this would have on society. Who would actually subscribe to the Honey-Boo-Boo channel? Who would actually subscribe to the Shawty Lo channel?

So there are no 'niche' channels/shows that you watch? All you watch are the mainstream reality/CSI anytown shows? The current bundling system allows many niche channels/shows to exist that would never pull in enough money on their own to be viable in an a-la-carte system. You would be surprised at how many channels/shows you (or your partner/family) take for granted that could never exist on TV in an a-la-carte system. You may also be surprised to find out that you have nothing much left to watch besides the shows you are mocking.

Plus as has been already mentioned, much of the cost of cable/satellite goes towards infrastructure and the rights to even carry the channels, so the total costs are somewhat fixed. There is no realistic way to switch to an a-la-carte system without a major shakeup/downsizing of TV content as you know it, and if you think there is you don't understand the economics behind the current system. Be careful what you wish for here, the end result may not look anything like you expect it to.

As a side note, I personally don't think it would be bad to let the whole TV industry as it currently exists implode. If it wasn't for certain sporting events and my family's desires I could do without TV all together.
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post #20 of 91 Old 01-15-2013, 04:22 PM
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A few things about AutoHop...

1) It is not automatic, it must be enabled for each show before you watch it.

2) It only works on the big 4 networks (ABC, CBS, FOX & NBC.) There are no plans to expand AutoHop to other channels.

3) You can not auto skip commercials on the same day that the show airs. AutoHop will not appear for shows until 1am the next day. You can of course fast forward through them like any other DVR if you watch it on the same day.

4) Skipping commercials is NOT Illegal. We have all skipped commercials which if it was illegal would make us all outlaws. In addition the networks took on Replay TV on their auto commercial skip feature and guess what... they lost. I heard one CES say at a press conference that those going to the bathroom during commercial breaks were considered theifs... what is wrong with this industry?

I think CBS did DISH a huge favor by refusing to give them the award, as its now 5 days since CES ended and we are still talking about the new DISH Hopper with Sling. This was better for DISH then any advertising that DISH's money could buy.
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post #21 of 91 Old 01-15-2013, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BartMan01 View Post

So there are no 'niche' channels/shows that you watch? All you watch are the mainstream reality/CSI anytown shows? The current bundling system allows many niche channels/shows to exist that would never pull in enough money on their own to be viable in an a-la-carte system. You would be surprised at how many channels/shows you (or your partner/family) take for granted that could never exist on TV in an a-la-carte system. You may also be surprised to find out that you have nothing much left to watch besides the shows you are mocking.

Plus as has been already mentioned, much of the cost of cable/satellite goes towards infrastructure and the rights to even carry the channels, so the total costs are somewhat fixed. There is no realistic way to switch to an a-la-carte system without a major shakeup/downsizing of TV content as you know it, and if you think there is you don't understand the economics behind the current system. Be careful what you wish for here, the end result may not look anything like you expect it to.

As a side note, I personally don't think it would be bad to let the whole TV industry as it currently exists implode. If it wasn't for certain sporting events and my family's desires I could do without TV all together.

Spoken like a thousand monopolistic guilds, a thousand times, for a thousand years. That if we do not accept THEIR price-fixing protection racket around TV / Cable / Satellite all we would have on TV would be this ?:



I say hard cheese to that. The TV industry is THE sexiest industry on planet earth and ever will be. Second only to music, if second at all. I live in LA and let me tell you this place is teeming with hundreds of thousands of highly motivated people who will do or say anything to get on television, or be involved in the making of television.

If every single employee of CBC, NBC, CNN, Fox, ABC, etc. etc. went to downtown Hollywood, doused themselves with gas and lit the match we would no longer have any Television to watch next year? Kim Kardashian would go back to being a stylist? Sofia Vergara would go back to Latin America making near minimum wage as a model? Heck no. They would use their considerable talents to create a more direct to customer relationship via some kind of streaming option similar to Louis C.K. , or the a la carte system I mentioned. And if that means Ryan Seacrest only makes $30 million a year rather than $50 mill, I won't lose any sleep.

Don't think so? Remember how all these naysayers told us for years the Netflix would not last, could not last, content is king, their CEO is a dolt, and on and on and on. Netflix is still around, still going strong, still using 33% of ALL our total internet bandwidth (!!!!!)

Recall how current TV shows are currently fed to us. And I do mean fed. Some writer with unfair backdoor access to network executives pitches a pilot. The pilot is made and shown to a gaggle of random Tom, Dick and Harry's and then whether it makes it to prime time depends on their reaction to that. Imagine if the Video game industry worked that way? Imagine if the movie industry worked that way? Imagine if the music industry worked that way? We'd all be currently listening to Debbie Gibson / Christian rock 8 tracks, playing Call of Duty: Brown People Massacre 56 and watching Jack and Jill 27 till the end of our days.

Simply put, Dish made a cost-benefit decision to implement a feature on their product that they calculated was more important to their customers than to their unwavering fealty to CBS. Who knows if they did it for cheap advertising or not? It's obviously something they have committed to.

You are right that I do watch niche programming. But not a single one of these shows I have been exposed to by simply flicking the channels. Its usually something I get from the internet or a friend recommended to me. And if I have to lose Robot Chicken (my one niche guilty pleasure) to save my butt $80 a month off my cable bill, I say "sayonora!".
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post #22 of 91 Old 01-16-2013, 02:36 AM
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Sucks because Cnet is stuck in the middle of this crap. They aren't allowed to review any more Dish devices either. This must be the new Hopper the CSR told me about a couple of weeks back, he said hold off on getting the current one a much better one is on the way.
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post #23 of 91 Old 01-16-2013, 07:47 AM
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Spoken like someone who's been there before. Please, enlighten us with your story- a time when you stepped down from your job to protest a decision out of your control.

I've lost a job FIVE times for protesting decisions made by management. I've lost a few more for speaking my mind and not being Politically Correct. As a matter of fact, I'm unemployed now because I confronted another worthless employee for not doing their job. I was released from a temporary job for speaking out of turn also. I have never let another person walk all over me like the folks at C|NET.

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post #24 of 91 Old 01-17-2013, 01:18 PM
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I hope "Hopper" takes off like a rocket and millions of people buy it! Maybe then CBS and the other Networks will listen to what the people want and stop being so greedy.
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post #25 of 91 Old 01-17-2013, 01:19 PM
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poor, poor networks, they can't get with the times.
ADS are done. Deal with it. Find OTHER ways to make revenue from your shows
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post #26 of 91 Old 01-17-2013, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post

I am very happy with my Hopper, now I don't have to push a button 3 times to skip all the stupid commercials rolleyes.gif

I actually see more of the commercials with Hopper, because it takes 5-10 seconds to start hopping

Having had dish, cable, and now u-verse in the past year (long story), I'm glad I'm not the only who recognizes Dish has the best hardware/software by far. I haven't had direct, but I've seen it plenty to know it's not even close.
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post #27 of 91 Old 01-17-2013, 01:39 PM
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i have been skipping commercials since 2002 with my replay tv, world hasn't ended yet.
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post #28 of 91 Old 01-17-2013, 01:44 PM
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Its not the cable or satellite operators...its the broadcasters. They have recentlly started charging the cable companies "retransmision fees", or retrans, for every single viewer to which the retransmit their signal. And these rates are going up 50% a year. Dish (and others) would be fine in disabling the commercial skipping features for broadcasters who did not charge them these fees (not that there are many left).

Broadcasters want it both ways...revenue from advertising and "pay tv" fees. I don't blame them for wanting it, but don't blame your cable company.
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post #29 of 91 Old 01-17-2013, 02:04 PM
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I enjoy skipping ads as much as the next guy, but the only reason TV programming exists is to sell advertising spots and make money. If shows can't make money selling commercials, then they simply won't produce any shows. They don't create this "entertainment" for the masses simply out of artistic generosity. They do it solely to make money.
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post #30 of 91 Old 01-17-2013, 02:09 PM
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And all they accomplished was to get more attention for Dish and what they provide. While CBS may not like what they do, most consumers will.
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