We all know the war that Dish’s Hopper and AutoHop have created with the broadcast networks. No love lost, for sure. So DISH is not happy and issued a statement on what happened in Vegas at CES: DISH’s Hopper with Sling Whole-Home HD DVR was disqualified from CNET’s “Best of CES” awards program at the last minute because CNET’s parent, CBS Corp., is in litigation with DISH regarding Hopper’s consumer-friendly Prime Time Any Time and the AutoHop commercial-skipping features.
After CNET posted a review entitled “Dish Hopper with Sling: HD DVR almost has it all,” Hopper with Sling was named a finalist by CNET for its Best of CES awards. Winners were named 1/10 at the Consumer Electronics Show.
DISH CEO and President Joe Clayton issued the following:
“We are saddened that CNET’s staff is being denied its editorial independence because of CBS’ heavy-handed tactics. This action has nothing to do with the merits of our new product. Hopper with Sling is all about consumer choice and control over the TV experience. That CBS, which owns CNET.com, would censor that message is insulting to consumers.
DISH is not afraid to stand up for consumer rights and we think that Hopper with Sling will do well, despite the network’s questionable actions.
We have had a long, productive relationship with CNET’s editorial staff and we look forward to continuing that relationship. We welcome their unbiased evaluation and commentary of our products and services.”
The new Hopper with Sling, unveiled at 2013 CES, delivers several capabilities that improve the DISH experience at home and on the go by allowing customers to watch live and recorded television anywhere on Internet-connected tablets, smartphones and PCs at no additional charge using the Hopper’s new built-in Sling capabilities as well as move recorded television to an iPad for viewing without an Internet connection.
RBR-TVBR observation: Like we’ve said before, no matter how the court ruling turns out in the end, the broadcast networks need to make a public pact that they will not renew agreements with DISH if AutoHop stays. While we agree that AutoHop is wrong, however, DISH should have been given the award—it won it fair and square. The disqualification makes both CBS Corp. and CNet look bad.