CBS to drop Dish if it keeps AutoHop


Les MoonvesCBS CEO Les Moonves said the company will end up pulling the CBS Television Network from Dish Network unless it discontinues its AutoHop ad-skipping service. AutoHop deletes commercials from DVR viewing of the broadcast networks, but not cable networks.

MediaPost quoted Moonves at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference 9/12: “If they want to eliminate our commercials, we will not be in business with them — it’s pure and simple. We cannot produce an episode of a show for $3.5 million and have the people at Dish say, ‘We can pull out the commercials.’ That’s not how the ecosystem works. If they want to continue down that line, then we will just not be on Dish. That’s what will happen. We will go elsewhere, and people will take our content.”

CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox have all sued Dish over AutoHop citing copyright issues and a hit to revenues. At the same time, Dish has filed its own lawsuit against all four broadcast nets seeking a declaration as to the legality of its new service. Bottom line, if those efforts are not successful, Moonves is serious–there will just not be a carriage deal with CBS after the current contract runs out.

He said he doesn’t believe that Auto Hop will survive because of marketplace dynamics.

See the MediaPost story here

RBR-TVBR observation: NBC, Fox and ABC could follow. It’s good to see the broadcast networks sticking together for their livelihoods when singularly threatened by the likes of AutoHop and Aereo. They carry a lot of viewers and simply put, if ABC, NBC, Fox join in the claim to drop Dish (if legal action does not succeed), Dish will drop AutoHop. Done deal.