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Dish AutoHop vs Networks Commercial Skipping Discussion


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#251 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 03:42 AM

You dont think if the big 4 were to go to a single point distro like the rest of the "cable" channels, leaving the OTA stations to the news, local sports, and independent operation, it would be a major entertainment problem? I think the big 4 would do just fine as a "cable" channel, and would prefer the locals to be local anyway.


That is certainly a possibility... but again, without the advertising revenue they would still have to charge more than they do today.

The "big four" have way more original programming than any of the other cable/satellite channels. The money to pay for all of that has to come from somewhere... and today it mostly comes from advertising. So if you take commercials away as a viable source of revenue, then up go the subscription rates. That's just basic math.

Meanwhile... IF this path were chosen by the networks... then what would be left to sustain the local channels? Without the network programming, there would be no reason to watch your local channel except for the local interest stuff... and they wouldn't be able to afford to do that in most markets without the revenue that comes from having the network affiliation.

Just look at any local channel you have that is an independent station and see how well they do compared to the network affiliates. Yeah, there are other channels, but not much to watch on them... and if you suddenly had 4 more channels in your market become independent if the "big four" drop them... a bunch of channels would likely fall off the map.

Maybe that needs to happen in some markets... maybe it even needs to happen for TV in general... but I think a lot of people won't like what they get if they get what they wish for, because the prices are only going to go up. This isn't going to benefit the consumer, you can bet on that.

Consider the AMC dispute where AMC has been tossing around the idea of wanting 75 cents for that channel instead of 25 cents (there's an article somewhere quoting an AMC rep stating that)... and AMC doesn't have anywhere near the ratings of shows on the "big four" and while it does have some high quality original programs, it doesn't have nearly as much as the "big four"... so if AMC thinks it is worth 75 cents... start taking guesses as to there ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC will start the negotiations.

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#252 OFFLINE   sregener

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 03:58 AM

You pay for other Disney-owned channels in other packages... those have nothing to do with the money that goes to the ABC OTA broadcast network.


Really? Then why does Disney demand that satellite and cable providers place ESPN in a specific tier in order to permit them to retransmit ABC OTA? This is the point - the broadcast locals are used as the sword to force Dish to pay outrageous amounts to Disney/Fox/Whoever for channels that are rather unpopular. If they have nothing to do with each other, than the sword should be rather dull.

I agree with your basic point that the costs for broadcast channels will have to go up if commercial-skipping becomes even more prevalent. The question is whether we want to restrict freedom and technological innovation to protect one business' primary source of revenue. That there are implications and changes due to technology advances is logical. That we should therefore not innovate seems rather protectionist.

FWIW, I wish I could unsubscribe from LiL. I have a perfectly working antenna setup, and the picture OTA is much, much better than the retransmitted one.

#253 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:05 AM

I don't even know where to begin. There's so much not quite right in there. You've got things so muddled it is impossible for me to untangle to reply.

Since you think you are paying NBC directly (and ABC and CBS and FOX) when you very clearly should know you are not... I don't know how to proceed.

We can disagree on opinions, but when your mind is closed to actual facts, I don't know how to discuss it.

Of course, Stewart, you are correct. Technically we aren't paying "directly." In fact, I'm paying Dish. But even Dish isn't paying directly. That's because Dish and the other signal providers have no contracts with the broadcast networks, just with their federally protected affiliates and Owned & Operated (O&O) local stations. But either you're arguing semantics or you haven't been following the media conglomerate business news.

Perhaps you aren't aware that in a 2009 News Corp shareholders meeting Rupert Murdoch laid down the gauntlet saying Fox would be seeking through the local stations a piece of the retransmission fees. Once it was clear he wasn't going to be pilloried by the feds, others followed suit more quietly.

In early 2011 we saw this from Bloomberg:

News Corp.’s Fox network said it may drop some affiliates if the local TV stations are unwilling to pay a program fee sought by the broadcaster.

...Fox said it would seek direct talks with station owners after nine months of discussions with the affiliates’ board "made no progress." Fox is demanding a share of so-called retransmission fees that stations are starting to receive from cable and satellite-TV systems for access to local signals.

The details can be understood from these letters, the first sent on Jan. 28, 2011 to all Fox affiliates (GM's and owners)from Brian Brady, president and CEO of Northwest Broadcasting and the chairman of the Fox Affiliate Board and the second Mike Hopkins, president of affiliate sales & marketing for Fox Networks.

And then we started seeing stories like this story in the LA Times headlined Fox replaces two affiliates in smaller markets over fee dispute.

New long-term affiliate agreements with Fox now require that a few years out the affiliates pay them $1 per month per cable/satellite subscriber.

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#254 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:20 AM

New long-term affiliate agreements with Fox now require that a few years out the affiliates pay them $1 per month per cable/satellite subscriber.


The citizens (via the FCC) should require FOX to pay each and every person with a TV in each and every DMA for which they hold a public broadcast license, $1 per month for rental of the public airwaves, which could otherwise be leased/sold to cell companies to expand their 4LTE networks.

Tie the price into the retransmission agreements, they raise the price of the agreement, the airspace lease fee increases at a matching rate.

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#255 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:23 AM

I am pretty sure that broadcasters already pay the FCC for licensing the airwaves.
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#256 OFFLINE   jsk

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:23 AM

I fear that the outcome of this lawsuit is that cable/satellite companies will not be able to offer the ability to fast forward or skip commercials without the authorization of the cable network or local station. I could see that happening, especially since they already force you to watch commercials if you watch a program on Hulu.

In my opinion, DRM is going too far so that you can't use the programming that you pay for in the way you want to use it.
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#257 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:28 AM

I think that won't happen, but hope and pray it won't......
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#258 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:43 AM

I am pretty sure that broadcasters already pay the FCC for licensing the airwaves.


The local stations do, not the networks (except of course, those owned directly by the networks). If the networks are going to swipe all the revenue from the local affiliates, then they should be made to pay for the licenses, and the license fee should match the retransmission agreement fee.

I am pretty sure the retransmission fees were put in place to assist the local stations which were not in large DMAs, to assist them in continuing to provide service, since satellite extends the reach of those stations 100's of miles further than the advertisers are interested in. A hometown car dealer isnt going to pay rates based upon viewers who arent even within reasonable driving distance to their dealership, for example. Our locals via satellite extend out 140 miles from the broadcast site. The actual broadcast signal is lucky to make it 60 miles. Forcing the affiliate to cough up $1 per satellite sub to their network for 2 or 3 hours of programming per night is not consistent with the intended purpose of the fee.

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#259 OFFLINE   xmguy

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 05:14 PM

Oh, I time shifted with VCRs, starting in 1984. But VCR recordings looked horrible compared to live television. And you had to wait for the program to finish before watching it, and couldn't watch a recorded program while another recording was happening. DVRs fixed both problems, which is when it became practical to record a football game and skip commercials and halftime.


I too grew up with a VCR. I remember having to set 2 VCRs if I wanted to record 2 shows at the same time and make sure the tape had atleast 2 hours.
I don't mind fast-forwarding over commercials. The networks "accept" the current methods that all the DVRs offer now. I can see if Dish pushes this too far this could have HUGE effects with all DVR users. No matter Satellite, Cable or even OTA. I could see the providers BLOCKING FFWD for a set time after and during the recording. I wish Dish would stop while they are ahead.

I will also add I had a Replay TV that offered Commercial Skip. Worked semi-well. Not perfect. Sometimes overshot or under shot when the show was back on. I remember when they removed it too. They then branded it "Show | Nav". I've still got my 5504. Fully works and all. Commercials could still be skipped however it was more like how modern day 30-skip works however the Replay TV could still sense when the show was back and and stop the skip unlike most 30 skip DVR functions today. Where it will go 30 seconds more like a VCR or other recordable media would aimlessly.

Edited by xmguy, 27 May 2012 - 05:41 PM.


#260 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 05:57 PM

Really? Then why does Disney demand that satellite and cable providers place ESPN in a specific tier in order to permit them to retransmit ABC OTA?


Where did you hear those two things where tied together? They have demanded ESPN be on a basic tier since day one of any carriage agreement completely independent of abc carriage, since they don't run all their affiliates, that wouldn't be useful anyway across the entire country.

Does the skipping commercials work on OTA, or just sat delivered locals right now?

If Dish had implemented this so that it worked when you hit the skip button at the beginning of each commercial block, and then it would skip all the way through all the commercials in just that block, then I think they'd have a better chance at this lawsuit, if the networks would have even filed one, since it that would have required active interaction at each commercial point.

#261 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 11:46 PM

One of the things to keep in mind is that the advertisers not only don't care if people age 50+ watch prime time commercials, they don't consider ratings beyond the live+same day. According to all the articles I read in Advertising Age most advertisers just aren't willing to embrace ratings beyond that time frame. This is generally confirmed in the TV business press.

I'm going to be very focused on how the networks and their affiliates are going to argue that, beginning the day after a program is aired, allowing viewers to skip ads on a show with one press of a button instead of 20 presses of the button iwould change the economics of broadcast TV.

Anything they argue would have to be supported by the advertising community stating "yes, we are going to accept ad rates based on live+7" or C3 or some other standard currently not generally accepted.

As near as I can tell, my wife and I don't count towards generating ad revenue for the networks and locals because we are over 50, but even if we were 28 we still wouldn't count because we watch nearly everything at least a day after it airs.

I'm trying to figure out how the Auto Hop endangers the prevalent economic model for prime time broadcast TV advertising support.

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#262 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 12:27 AM

I'm trying to figure out how the Auto Hop endangers the prevalent economic model for prime time broadcast TV advertising support.


As you and others point out... a lot of people already DVR or pause so that they can manually skip commercials.

IF you found out that you could wait until 1am and then have the receiver skip them automatically, don't you think that would impact your desire to watch things now vs a little bit later?

My guess is that the networks and advertisers see that the easier the skipping becomes, the more likely viewers will wait and not watch primetime in primetime so that they can use the new feature.

I don't know how they would "know" that... but if the Dish receivers do collect/report that info, then there could very well be data to suggest that since the introduction of AutoHop perhaps more viewers have been waiting to watch their shows until the feature kicks in.

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#263 OFFLINE   coolman302003

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 01:28 AM

Does the skipping commercials work on OTA, or just sat delivered locals right now?

Only sat delivered currently since the OTA tuner has not been released yet. Its supposed to be coming out late summer and will be a single tuner.

#264 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 03:46 AM

As you and others point out... a lot of people already DVR or pause so that they can manually skip commercials.

IF you found out that you could wait until 1am and then have the receiver skip them automatically, don't you think that would impact your desire to watch things now vs a little bit later?

My guess is that the networks and advertisers see that the easier the skipping becomes, the more likely viewers will wait and not watch primetime in primetime so that they can use the new feature.


Does anybody watch anything LIVE in Primetime anymore?

I haven't done so in many years. Everything is recorded and watched days or weeks later.
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#265 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 04:34 AM

Before you make another post read this article, or at least read the legal complaints that are filed with the court that are in the article.

http://tv.yahoo.com/...-224625705.html

The premise people keep arguing about is not relevant to the legality of this lawsuit. It doesn't matter what the executives believe or don't believe. It's about what DISH is doing that the networks deem copyright violations and license agreement violations.


In reality the Auto Hop was just the icing on the cake and if I were a consumer I'd be more concerns with the other part of the complaints as well.


So continually rehashing the whole "do they think people watch live tv, commercials, stuff the same day" or any other behavior isn't going to have anything to do with the lawsuit.

#266 OFFLINE   RasputinAXP

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 06:46 AM

The premise people keep arguing about is not relevant to the legality of this lawsuit. It doesn't matter what the executives believe or don't believe. It's about what DISH is doing that the networks deem copyright violations and license agreement violations.


They're claiming Dish edits the programming to remove the commercials.

Dish does not in fact edit anything.

This case is ridiculous.

edit: Fox is also..well...being Fox:

Fox also argues that Dish's Sling Adapter service "redistributes and streams Fox's programming over the Internet in violation of copyright law and Dish's agreements with Fox. In doing so, it competes unfairly with licensed providers such as iTunes and Amazon."


So now they're all just piling on to say what we've all known forever: that they don't like consumers having the ability to do with their hardware and signal as they please. Unreal.

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#267 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 06:49 AM

They're claiming Dish edits the programming to remove the commercials.

Dish does not in fact edit anything.

This case is ridiculous.


Well, if you want to get technical DISH is providing the technology that allows it's customers to to the editing.

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#268 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 06:53 AM

Well, if you want to get technical DISH is providing the technology that allows it's customers to to the editing.


Which has been provided since the earliest VCRs, not to mention various video editing programs.
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#269 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 06:55 AM

edit: Fox is also..well...being Fox:


So now they're all just piling on to say what we've all known forever: that they don't like consumers having the ability to do with their hardware and signal as they please. Unreal.


Including the privacy of their cell phone voice mail, right Fox?
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#270 OFFLINE   scooper

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 07:12 AM

And just how is it a "copyright violation" ? The commercials ARE in fact being recorded (and if I was a lawyer for Dish this would be demonstrated in court if it comes down to it).

You don't like people skipping your commercials ? Then come up with something truly creative . Make your commercials as compelling as the programming.

And yes - some of us DO watching in realtime - even with DVRs.

The comment about how they think all this Internet stuff and what can be done just shows their mentality - it's about THEM having the only control of WHEN and WHERE it is available. Hint- that ship left a long time ago.
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#271 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 07:43 AM

Well, if you want to get technical DISH is providing the technology that allows it's customers to to the editing.

There is no editing of programming content. DVR users simply have the ability to skip parts (or all) of recorded content.


It's no different than (not then) if, when a commercial starts, you get up and walk to the kitchen for a snack.

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#272 OFFLINE   Marlin Guy

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:10 AM

Precisely. Dish simply refined something that has existed for a very long time.
Commercials are still there. They just made skipping them easier, but it's a still case-by-case decision on behalf of the viewer.

#273 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:41 AM

Anyone else notice that the Fox complaint also takes aim at the Sling adapter?
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#274 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:59 AM

Yes; what took them so long?? :eek2:
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#275 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 10:07 AM

The Sling discussion is a whole different thing. What's funny is Dish's customer agreement actually forbids rebroadcasting, despite the fact that they sell the sling adapter. You could make an argument that what the sling adapter does is encrypted broadcasting. This could potentially be the end of slingboxing, or ir could establish once and for all that placeshifting for one's own use is completely legal.
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