June 27th, 2012
Dish chairman says AutoHop shields kids from booze, junk food ads
By Joe Flint
Los Angeles Times
In written testimony to Congress, Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen said the satellite broacaster’s controversial new commercial-skipping feature will help protect children from the marketing efforts of the fast food and alcohol industries.
Called the “AutoHop,” the feature on Dish’s digitial video recorders allows its subscribers to avoid commercials on recorded shows from broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Although consumers can already fast-forward through commercials on recorded shows, the AutoHop has caused concerns for the networks because it goes a step further. When it is activated and used for recording programs, commercials more or less disappear, and can be automatically skipped without the hassle of fast-forwarding.