Dish Paints Broadcasters as Consumer Unfriendly

Tells Senate broadcasters are accusing millions of being copyright infringers
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In a testimony for the
May 14 state of video hearing in the Senate Communications Subcommittee, Dish
executive R. Stanton Dodge frames broadcasters' challenge of its Hopper DVR
service -- which allows subs to skip commercials and, more recently, view
content on other devices -- as an attack on consumers.

"The networks
are accusing millions of subscribers of being copyright infringers just because
they want to skip commercials more easily or watch TV on iPads in their
bedroom," he says, according to a copy of his prepared testimony.

Stanton calls for
retrans reform, framing retrans disputes as broadcasters vs. consumers. He
calls them one-sided contests with government-aided broadcasters on one side,
and the "Losers" being "the consumers who get their programming
pulled from them by the broadcasters and see their bills on the rise."

Dodge takes a page
from the just-introduced a la carte bill from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), which
would require the FCC to reclaim the license and spectrum of a broadcaster who
tried to move its programming to cable. "Some broadcasters have floated
the idea of becoming a cable channel, thus stopping the broadcast of their
channels over the air," he said. "If the broadcasters choose to do
that, they should give back all of their government-granted broadcast
spectrum."

Dodge also made a
pitch for Dish's bid to buy Sprint, suggesting Dish's offer was "better
for American consumers, Sprint shareholders, and the national security of this
country than the competing offer for Sprint made by SoftBank, a foreign
company..."

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