Dish cuts down on ad-skipping feature AutoHop in deal with Disney

By Daniel S Levine,

The networks may not like Aereo, but that’s not the only service they hate. They are also unhappy with Dish Network’s AutoHop feature, which allows users to skip commercials when watching DVR recordings. However, ABC and Disney are no longer a part of the ongoing legal battle over the system, since it just struck a unique deal with Dish to put a hold on the feature for its programming.

The deal, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, means that Dish will shut down the AutoHop feature for only ABC and ESPN programs during the first three days after it airs. After that, the feature will be available for subscribers.

In exchange, Disney and Dish dropped “all pending litigation” over AutoHop, reports CNN Money. The deal took months to iron out and also brings new Disney-owned channels to Dish and extends the company’s contract with Dish, which had actually expired five months ago. The two sides never took the negotiations public, though and there was never a blackout.

However, the headline is clearly Dish’s AutoHop concession. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the other networks - CBS, Fox and NBC - have also taken legal action against Dish over the feature.

Financial terms of the deal were not announced, but both sides were happy that an agreement was reached.

“The creation of this agreement has really been about predicting the future of television with a visionary and forward-leaning partner,” Dish CEO Joseph P. Clayton said. “Not only will the exceptional Disney, ABC, ESPN entertainment portfolio continue to delight our customers today, but we have a model from which to deliver exciting new services tomorrow.”

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons



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