Dish Network criticizes CBS ‘interference’ in CES awards

The Dish Network's Hopper with Sling is displayed at a press event at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. The technology site CNET removed it from consideration as one of the best of CES, citing the ongoing lawsuit involving its corporate parent, CBS.
(David Becker / Getty Images)

The Internet’s leading technology site removed the Dish Hopper from consideration as one of CNET’s “Best of CES” products, citing litigation involving its corporate parent, CBS Corp.

CNET had posted a review of the new Dish Hopper with Sling digital video recorder, unveiled earlier this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, under a headline that described it as a gadget that “almost has it all.” The device, which allows consumers to record shows, skip commercials and watch live or recorded programs on their Internet-connected tablets, smartphones and PCs, was named by the tech site as one of the best of show.

CBS Interactive issued a statement that the Dish device had been removed from consideration because of the ongoing lawsuit. CBS and two other broadcasters, Fox and NBC, allege that Dish Hopper’s “AutoHop” feature, which identifies the commercial breaks within recordings of network shows and automatically skips them during playback, violates copyright laws.


“We will no longer be reviewing products manufactured by companies with which we are in litigation with respect to such product,” CBS Interactive spokeswoman Rosabel Tao said in an email.

Dish issued a statement criticizing CBS for exercising editorial “interference.”

“We are saddened that CNET’s staff is being denied its editorial independence because of CBS’ heavy-handed tactics. 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,” DISH CEO and President Joe Clayton said in a statement. “That CBS, which owns, would censor that message is insulting to consumers.”


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