Let's be honest with ourselves - no matter how cute or amusing they are, we all hate television commercials. They don't add value to the program, they are just in the way, right? There have been some creative ways to get around them. Many people use a DVR to record the program ahead of time and then skip trough the ads. The natural progression of any repetitive act is automation, and DISH network decided to drive the automation of removing commercials with their highly advertised Hopper DVRs.
While certainly a hit with consumers, this new DVR offering is not showing up as a positive for the networks. In fact, three of the major broadcast networks, Fox, CBS and NBCUniversal, have filed suit against DISH Network for this new product. As of right this moment, ABC Disney is the only broadcaster that has not filed suit, but based on Disney's litigious streak, my guess is it is only a matter of time.
While all of this is totally expected, DISH Network's reaction is not as much. Hit the break to find out what they have done in reaction.
The networks are understandably upset about this. Advertising dollars are the only way they stay in business. Anything to upset the apple cart, like the Internet or skipping ads, will confound them, as we have seen with Fox and Hulu. DISH Network, rather than taking all of this lying down, however, has filed suit back, including ABC, in an effort to set a legal precedent that this is totally legal.
Obviously the networks are arguing that this alters their intellectual property and that it is a "clear goal violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem." This will be an interesting series of court proceedings that can change the way television works. If DISH Network wins, product placement will become the standard advertising medium for television because every television provider will start selling this feature as a value added feature. In fact, over time, it might even encourage broadcasters to move to Hulu and Netflix for their primary audience to prevent commercial skipping.