A local broadcaster has apparently decided to skip doing business with Dish Network in part because of its commercial-skipping device known as the AutoHop.
Dish Network said Hoak Media Corp., a Dallas-based company which owns 14 small-market television stations in markets that include Grand Junction, Colo., Fargo, N.D., and Lincoln, Neb., was no longer going to allow its signals to be carried by the satellite broadcaster.
"Hoak doesn't respect customer control -- they are telling customers they must watch commercials," said David Shull, Dish's senior vice president of programming. The AutoHop, introduced to Dish's 14 million subscribers last month, makes it easier for viewers to avoid commercials on recorded shows that air on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.
While viewers can already fast-forward through commercials, the AutoHop takes it a step further. When it is activated, the screen literally goes dark when a recorded program goes into a commercial break and then returns to the show a few seconds later.