Advanced Television

Dish’s Hopper still in trouble with ABC

November 21, 2013

By Chris Forrester

hopper-slingDisney-owned network ABC is still arguing that Dish Network should shut down its ad-skipping ‘Hopper’ technology. ABC has already lost an initial argument at a lower court in September that Dish is breaching its copyright in broadcasting ABC’s shows while allowing viewers to ‘hop’ through the commercials. ABC is also arguing that Dish is in breach of agreements it has in place with ABC over the carriage of programming.

See our previous coverage at

ABC and Disney Enterprises, in an appeal before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on November 20th started by claiming that the lower court had ridden “roughshod” over basic copyright case law, and that the judge had misunderstood the harm that would be done in the market. Judge Laura Taylor Swain, at the earlier hearing, had ruled that it was consumers themselves who were deciding whether to use the AutoHop feature, and not Dish.

“This massive copying effort not only targets the advertising that generates revenue through normal DVR viewing; it also takes aim at the many platforms on which ABC authorizes the sale of on-demand and commercial-free versions of its programming,” argues ABC in a 72-page legal filing.

CBS, Fox and NBC are also involved in the action, although CBS boss Les Moonves implied last week that his network is prepared to reach a commercial agreement with Dish. “We’re willing to negotiate”… but the bottom line is that “we’re spending $4 million an episode on NCIS. I have to pay for it.”

Categories: Advertising, Articles, Policy, PVR, Regulation