Ergen to Congress: Parents Can AutoHop Over Booze, Junk Food Ads
Dish chairman also says it is time to overhaul retrans process
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/26/2012 12:13:05 PM
That is according to a copy of his prepared testimony for a Future of Video hearing in the House Communications Subcommittee.
Ergen is defending Dish's Hopper service from the broadcast networks, who have sued the company over the AutoHop commercial-skipping feature, saying it breached contracts and violated copyrights.
In his testimony, Ergen positions the service as the evolution of giving consumers what they want, when they want it, which includes allowing them to skip "what they don't want to see."
"Through AutoHop," he argues, "Dish has done nothing more than improve upon existing, legally-accepted, and widely available technologies that give consumers the ability to record their television shows for playback at a more convenient time, when they are able to fast-forward through or skip over commercials."
Ergen calls for a revamp of the retransmission consent/must-carry regime, calling it a prime example of an outdated government policy in need of overhaul by both Congress and the FCC. The FCC does not appear ready to do the overhauling unless Congress gives it the word, however. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has signaled that the FCC's authority in that area is limited by statute.
Ergen also puts in a plug for Dish's FCC petition to allow it to use satellite spectrum to create a next-generation mobile broadband network in competition to Verizon, AT&T and others.
"We want to provide consumers with the choice in services and providers that they seek," he says. "We can't get started, however, until the FCC releases updated rules governing how our satellite licenses can be used for terrestrial mobile broadband. Given the overwhelming support of the comments received to date, we hope that the FCC will act, and finalize the new rules by the end of the summer."
No related content found.
Most Popular Pages
No Top Articles