Tag Archives: Dish Network

DVR Competition Heats Up

As live TV viewership is declining seemingly by the day, the focus of US pay TV providers has shifted from beefing up their channel packages to creating and improving their DVR options.  Cablevision, a main cable provider for New York City area, recently announced its improved DVR recording capabilities, allowing customers to record 10 programs at once.  (By the way, bhaalu by Right Brain Interface has no limit for simultaneous recordings.)

This new development, alongside increasing storage to 75 hours of HD programming, is part of an effort to combat similar features offered by other providers, says Steve Donohue:

“In addition to helping Cablevision compete with the Verizon Media Server which the telco is developing with Arris, Cablevision’s network DVR gives it a product that tops the recording capabilities of DirecTV’s Genie DVR, which has five tuners, and Dish Network’s Hopper, which can record up to six programs simultaneously thanks to its Primetime Anytime feature.”

viewing-share

Source: TechCrunch

Although live TV still accounts for 52% of all viewing time in the US, that number drops to 41% for people 18-34 years of age, according to recent studies.  This makes cable/satellite providers tremble in their boots – as it should.  That age group is a key market that sets the trend for future consumer behavior, and they can pose a real problem for pay TV providers should they decide that their subscriptions aren’t worth the money.

DVR services may be the new style of pay TV subscriptions, as live TV air times are conflicting more and more with viewers’ daily schedules.  Right now, customer loyalty to TV providers is hanging by a thread, so maybe its time for some new blood to move into the market.

Referenced from FierceCable, bgr.com, and TechCrunch

Fox’s Appeal on Dish Decision Denied

getsrchttp3a2f2fimagestDish Network once again was given the nod in a barrage of cases involving automatic ad-skipping on its Hopper DVR service (called “AutoHop”).  Last Wednesday, a U.S. appellate court denied Fox network’s request to overturn a lower court’s November 2012 refusal to file an injunction against Dish.  The appellate court agreed that Fox has not provided adequate evidence showing that AutoHop would result in copyright infringement or breach of contract between the two companies.

Although this latest ruling has not necessarily dealt a mortal blow (Fox says they may file another appeal), it certainly will set a precedent for similar suits, namely those filed by NBC and CBS against Dish.  At a basic level, the suits against the satellite TV provider deal with its liability for plaintiffs’ lost ad revenues due to AutoHop. However, the courts say that by giving their customers control of the ad-skipping feature, Dish absolves itself of any direct liability for the lost revenues.

Sourcefednews.com explains Dish’s indirect liability:

“Additionally, Dish can’t be held liable indirectly either because time-shifting is a protected fair use and networks cannot challenge commercial skipping because they don’t have a copyright interest in the commercials themselves.”

Fox’s consecutive failures, for the same reason, to stop AutoHop seem to all but condemn both existing and future suits on the matter, at least in the U.S.  Could this case set a global precedent for ad-skipping procedures on VOD platforms? That depends on the country and the similarities between its laws and those of the U.S.

Referenced from FierceCable and the Chicago Tribune

See the appellate court’s full decision here.