Chairman at NBC Broadcasting, Ted Harbert, opposes the commercial-skipping device offered by Dish
Dish Network has just began offering a device called Auto Hop, which allows users to cut commercials out of their pre-recorded programs. It is intended for use only with broadcast programming (as opposed to cable networks), but can be configured to work just the same regardless of where you recorded it from.
Chairman at NBC Broadcasting Ted Harbert stated, “I think this is an attack on our eco-system – I’m not for it.” Avoiding getting into any legal talk, Harbert made it clear that he would at least voice his opposition towards Auto Hop at Radio City Music Hall as NBC announces its fall schedule on Monday.
I don’t see any direct harm to advertisers from this device – it only cuts out ads on programs that you’ve already recorded. We’ve been doing this with home recordings since the days of VHS tapes, though it might be quite a gamble for network providers to roll out an ad-blocking product of their own.
Auto Hop certainly isn’t the first product of this nature to hit the market; a device called Replay TV was laid to rest a few years back after networks took legal action and successfully sued it out of existence on copyright infringement grounds.