Starcom, Dish Battle Over Ad-Skipping AutoHop

Satellite-SignalDish Network is now getting some major pullback from one large media agency concerning its new commercial-skipping feature for its new DVR unit.

Starcom MediaVest Group Exchange had been negotiating with the satcaster over a significant TV addressable advertising deal. But after hearing about Dish’s new feature called AutoHop -- which allows viewers to access commercial-free prime-time programming from the four major networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox -- all talks are off.

“My response, and I hate to be this way: ‘Don’t expect to get any money from me in anything, whether it's addressable or traditional advertising. I’m not going to do it,’” says John Muszynski, chief investment officer of Starcom Media Group Exchange (SMGX), in speaking to Media Daily News.

Muszynski guesses why Dish Network moved in this direction. “I understand why they want to offer this to consumers and that all of their dealers are thrilled to death with it. It gives them something to talk about.”

But at the end of the day, he says: “We can’t support that kind of thinking. They are basically trashing the ad model.” A Dish Network spokesman did not return messages by press time.

At the same time, Dish Network has been ramping up its efforts to let consumers know about the AutoHop feature of its new ‘Hopper’ DVR machine.

A commercial running on YouTube shows a family and one man talking to viewers: “If you hate wasting time watching commercials you can skip this ad if you want -- just like if you have the Hopper from Dish you can skip all the commercials automatically.”

The ad ends with the family members screaming with delight. Later on a voiceover says: “Watch commercial-free TV with the Hopper.”

Last week during TV network upfront presentations, both Les Moonves, president/CEO of CBS Corp., and Ted Harbert, chairman of NBC Broadcasting, NBCUniversal, warned that Dish’s move to allow viewers the ability to automatically skip commercials would threaten their ad-based business models.

Tags: advertising, tv
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1 comment about "Starcom, Dish Battle Over Ad-Skipping AutoHop".
  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston , May 23, 2012 at 8:51 a.m.
    I am reminded of the kid on the playground who got mad and took his ball home.