Dish Network Slams Courtroom Foe CBS for CNET Awards Snub

MSO angry ad-canceling service was 'disqualified' from 'Best of CES' article

Dish Network, which gave its ad-skipping Hopper software an upgrade this year—the edition promoed at CES includes Slingbox technology, so viewers can watch Dish through any connected device, anywhere, skipping all the ads—is being sued over the application, which networks including CBS say diminish the value of its GRPs.

So when CNET, owned by CBS Interactive, published an addendum saying that the product could no longer be considered for the "Best of CES," the MSO issued a statement lambasting CNET for compromising its editorial integrity.

The statement on the CNET finalists story is pretty unequivocal: "The Dish Hopper with Sling was removed from consideration due to active litigation involving our parent company CBS Corp.," said an unbylined update to CNET's finalist announcement. "We will no longer be reviewing products manufactured by companies with which we are in litigation with respect to such product."

Dish president and CEO Joe Clayton lit into both the online publication—which has a huge presence at the show—and its parent company in an emailed statement. “We are saddened that CNET’s staff is being denied its editorial independence because of CBS’ heavy-handed tactics," Clayton said. "This action has nothing to do with the merits of our new product. Hopper with Sling is all about consumer choice and control over the TV experience. That CBS, which owns, would censor that message is insulting to consumers."