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Parent company’s litigation keeps tech site from giving Dish Network an award

CBS stepped in and told CNET to remove the Hopper from consideration

Dish Network Corp.’s Hopper digital video recorder (DVR) has a feature called “AutoHop,” which allows the user to automatically skip all commercials during a show with just the touch of a button. It does this by recording all broadcast channels continuously. Unsurprisingly, this has broadcast companies up in arms—CBS, Fox and NBC all filed lawsuits against Dish Network over the technology in May.

But however rankling the Hopper might be for the companies, it’s pretty awesome for the user who is tired of car insurance commercials and just wants to watch her show. So it’s not surprising, then, that tech website CNET wanted to give the Hopper a “best-of” award at the Consumer Electronics Show last week. According to BuzzFeed, “the Hopper was given a best-of award by nearly every publication handing them out this year.”

But it did not end up receiving accolades from CNET. That’s because CNET is owned by CBS, and the parent company stepped in to tell the site to remove the Hopper from consideration for an award, due to the ongoing litigation. BuzzFeed goes on to explain how conflicts of interest like these can compromise a media company’s ability to report fairly on an industry like consumer tech.


For more InsideCounsel coverage of TV lawsuits, see below:

Regulatory: Making up the rules while the game is being played—FCC v. Fox

OpenTV accuses Netflix of patent infringement

Cablevision sued over disruption in service caused by Sandy

Fox cannot block Dish Network’s commercial-skipping technology

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