The day after CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves threatened to pull CBS off of Dish Network when the contract runs out if Dish’s AutoHop DVR ad-skipping feature isn’t retired, Dish CEO Joe Clayton fired back, saying the broadcast networks are out of touch with consumers’ expectations.
Clayton defended AutoHop, which has drawn the ire—and lawsuits–of broadcast networks because it automatically skips past their ads on shows that viewers record. Commercials are the broadcast networks’ primary source of revenue and AutoHop only targets the broadcast networks—not cable.
Speaking at a New York media event 9/13 to introduce Dish’s political election programming, Clayton said of the broadcast networks: “They would be well-advised to tune in to the consumer. Give the customer a better experience, and everybody wins.”
Clayton brushed off reporters’ questions on what a CBS exit would mean for Dish. He told Crain’s New York Business that Moonves’ remarks caught him off-guard: “Obviously we were surprised. Especially since this is a feature consumers have been using since the invention of the remote control.”
RBR-TVBR observation: As we’ve said before, it is unfair to offer AutoHop only for broadcast networks and not cable. Also, with the other networks already suing over this, you can pretty much bet they will join CBS in the pledge to pull from Dish—especially if the contracts end at similar times and if legal action fails. This is the only way Dish will cave—if the big four band together. DirecTV must be loving this!