Dish Network in Carriage Dispute Over Ad-Skipping DVR

Hoak Media is demanding that the satellite provider eliminate its controversial Hopper Whole-Home DVR.

Dish Network said Wednesday that Hoak Media has blocked access to 14 channels in markets in such states as Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Nebraska and Colorado amid a carriage dispute that involves Dish’s ad-skipping DVR.

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Dish said that Hoak has not only asked for a 200 percent rate increase but that it  has also demanded that Dish “eliminate customer-enabled commercial-skipping technology on its Hopper Whole-Home DVRs.”

The controversial Hopper, the subject of multiple lawsuits, allows users to skip all commercials in “most” shows if they watch the programming the day after it first airs.

“Hoak doesn’t respect customer control – they are telling customers they must watch commercials,” Dish senior vp programming Dave Shull said. “Channel skipping has been around since the advent of the remote control and we think Hoak has taken an incredibly hostile stance toward their viewers.”

Hoak, which specializes in operating TV stations in small and medium-sized markets and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, was unavailable for comment.

“Our customers pay a lot of money to Hoak as part of their monthly bill,” Shull said. “Customers have the right to watch purchased TV content in any manner they prefer.”

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Dish is also involved in a contentious carriage dispute with AMC Networks. The satellite provider has already dropped the Sundance Channel and has vowed to dump AMC, IFC and We TV at the end of the month.
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