Dish Network hopeful of AutoHop resolutions

Dish Network’s president Charlie Ergen said he is hopeful that despite ongoing ‘AutoHop’ litigation with some network broadcasters, the upcoming Disney contract negotiations would go smoothly. “Obviously we’re a very large customer of Disney, and our checks are pretty big. We have negotiations every year with major programmers. Some that we’re in litigation with, while we have contracts going on. And we’ve always been able to work through those issues. Because ultimately, content going down is a lose-lose for both us and the content provider.”

Explaining that he would also expect that both companies will find a workable solution through the current ‘AutoHop’ arguments, Ergen told analysts that the AutoHop feature covered a broader question. “I think we’re a bit misunderstood on that in the sense that we see the advertising model changing. We see with the advent of the Internet and the way you can target commercials, we think we can’t, as an industry, put our head in the sand to that. With DVRs, all models of DVRs, all pay-TV providers skip commercials, customers skip commercials. We can’t ignore that fact.  What we’re really saying is, to the broadcasters is, there’s a way for you to not put your head in the sand. There’s a way for you to certainly I believe make more money than you make today from DVRs, from advertising. And the way to do that is to target the commercials and to work with us, not against us, and we’ll help show you how to do that.”

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