What Does Dish’s Court Win Mean for Pay-TV?

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Dish Network’s (NASDAQ:DISH) AutoHop function on its Hopper DVRs has drawn the ilk of major television networks, as it allows viewers to skip ads when watching pre-recorded shows. But a judge in New York has sided with the pay-TV provider, denying networks’s request to issue an injunction against Dish’s Hopper DVR, according to a report from CNET.

This particular suit involved CBS Corp. (NYSE:CBS) and Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE:DIS) ABC, but other networks have filed separate suits against Dish over the technology as well. Networks believe that such technology is undermining the entire pay-TV system, which relies on ad revenue. If advertisers think Dish users — and other pay-TV customers if such technology catches on — are skipping commercials, ad time on network television becomes less valuable.

“Today’s ruling is only a preliminary decision and the first step in the judicial process,” an ABC spokesperson said in an e-mail to CNET. “We continue to firmly believe that Dish’s AutoHop and PrimeTime Anytime services breach our retransmission consent agreement with Dish, infringe upon ABC’s copyrights, and unfairly compete with the authorized on-demand and commercial-free options currently offered by ABC and its licensees.”

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