Tag Archives: NBC

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.

Hulu Deal Falls Through

DirecTV-HuluRemember when we wrote that DirecTV was supposed to put pen to paper on a deal to acquire Hulu by the end of last month?  Big news: the deal, which would have given DirecTV the online presence it desperately needs, has been called off by Hulu owners 21st Century Fox, NBC Universal and Disney in a joint press release last Friday.  This is the second time Hulu’s co-owners have canceled acquisition proceedings for the company in two years, as they did the same thing in 2011 (although the group of owners then had different members).

In these most recent dealings, DirecTV is said to have offered just over US$1B (S$1.26B) for the OTT platform, which Hulu’s owners were supposedly prepared to accept.  However, they have obviously had second thoughts, and are now planning on infusing US$750 million (S$950 million) of their own funds in an effort to realize Hulu’s potential.  

Jim O’Neill thinks that said potential, and not necessarily an inadequate offer from DirecTV, was the driving force behind the decision to axe the deal:

“The easy answer, but not necessarily the correct answer, is that the price being offered just wasn’t enough…The right answer may be more that the triumvirate finally realized they had a plum in their hand.

[Hulu]‘s got cheap, fresh content coming in from its three owners, 4 million paid subscribers, and a lot of potential. It just hasn’t been realized by anyone other than its original CEO, Jason Kilar, who tried and tried again to tell his bosses what a great company he’d made for them.”

Hulu sits in a distant third place behind American OTT providers Netflix and Amazon, and this fresh supply of cash from its owners is certainly a step in the right direction.  However, Netflix dishes out more than US$2B (S$2.5B) per year to both buy and create new content, and Amazon reportedly spends about half that.  Furthermore, Hulu’s owners have made it clear that their new funding for the company will not be a yearly expenditure, so it seems that the company’s management will continue to be a step behind its competitors.

Referenced from theConvergence.tv and allthingsd.com