Unlike the music and news businesses, television has been mostly successful at fending off technological challenges. Several network owners worked together to start Hulu, an online streaming Web site intended to curb piracy. This year, when a start-up called Aereo introduced a service to stream New York TV stations via the Internet, the stations banded together in filing two lawsuits to stall it. The lawsuits are pending.
The Auto Hop is noteworthy because it originated not from a start-up but from a satellite distributor with longstanding ties to the rest of the TV industry. Dish Network regularly negotiates with the networks for the rights to rebroadcast programming. Without that programming, subscribers would switch distributors. Yet Dish has still decided to promote its ad eraser, which comes with the Hopper, a new DVR that can record all the prime-time programming on ABC , CBS , Fox and NBC simultaneously.
As network executives tell it, Dish Network is a friend turned foe, once preserving the advertising model but now threatening to turn on a doomsday device. (It didn’t help Dish’s cause that it gave the networks less than a day’s notice before announcing the feature last Thursday.)Page 2 of 6 | Prev Page | Next Page