According to Reuters, Gannett is threatening to pull its TV stations from the DISH Network if the satellite TV provider doesn’t block the Auto Hop feature on its DVRs or pay a premium to the station group for the service. DISH’s “Hopper” DVR with the Auto Hop feature allows viewers to skip commercials on recorded shows which may result in a loss of revenue for TV stations.
While Reuters said DISH is willing to pay Gannett more money to continue using the feature, acceding to the station group would likely hurt their business, “Gannett’s demands translate into more than a 300 percent rate increase, which would likely result in higher monthly fees for consumers.”
Both parties have until Friday to settle the dispute before DISH customers could lose ABC, CBS, NBC and MyNetworkTV programming 23 markets across the country, including Atlanta (WATL), Washington, D.C. (WUSA), Denver (KUSA), Minneapolis (KARE) and Sacramento (KXTV). You can see the complete list of Gannett stations by clicking here.
CBS is involved in a similar dispute with DISH Network, reducing the heads of both companies into what amounts to a war of words, with DISH Network CEO Joe Clayton accusing CBS chairman Les Moonves of being a bully. Click here for a an article in the Chicago Tribune about the exchange.[dcrtv.com]