Dumb Move, CBS! Kicking Dish out of CNET ‘Best of CES’ Will Backfire Bigtime
The vaunted Dish Hopper with Sling was disqualified from CNET’s Best of CES awards because of lawsuit by CNET parent CBS over commercial-skipping. Bad PR for CBS. Great press for new commercial -skipping machine.
Not surprisingly the new Hopper with Sling Whole-Home HD DVR from Dish was a finalist in CNET’s Best of CES Awards. But the product was unceremoniously dumped from contention at the behest of CNET’s parent company CBS, Dish president Joe Clayton says.
Last year, CBS and other broadcasters sued Dish for the original Hopper’s AutoHop commercial-skipping features, and that litigation is apparently what caused CBS to disqualify Dish from the contest.
Clayton issued this scathing statement of CBS’s alleged meddling in editorial affairs:
We are saddened that CNET’s staff is being denied its editorial independence because of CBS’ heavy-handed tactics. This action has nothing to do with the merits of our new product. Hopper with Sling is all about consumer choice and control over the TV experience. That CBS, which owns CNET.com, would censor that message is insulting to consumers.
The statement just went out over the wire, and journalists are furiously typing about CBS’s smooth move, drawing a huge amount of publicity for Dish’s latest commercial-skipping product.
Dish itself couldn’t have written a better story.
Here’s the complete statement from Dish:
DISH disappointed with CBS’ interference with CNET’s “Best of CES” awards
LAS VEGAS, January 10, 2013 – DISH’s Hopper™ with Sling Whole-Home HD DVR was disqualified from CNET’s “Best of CES” awards program at the last minute today because CNET’s parent, CBS Corp., is in litigation with DISH regarding Hopper’s consumer-friendly Prime Time Any Time and the AutoHop™ commercial-skipping features.
After CNET posted a review entitled “Dish Hopper with Sling: HD DVR almost has it all,” Hopper with Sling was named a finalist by CNET for its Best of CES awards. Winners were named today at the International CES.
The following statement can be attributed to DISH CEO and President Joe Clayton:
“We are saddened that CNET’s staff is being denied its editorial independence because of CBS’ heavy-handed tactics. This action has nothing to do with the merits of our new product. Hopper with Sling is all about consumer choice and control over the TV experience. That CBS, which owns CNET.com, would censor that message is insulting to consumers.
“DISH is not afraid to stand up for consumer rights and we think that Hopper with Sling will do well, despite the network’s questionable actions.
“We have had a long, productive relationship with CNET’s editorial staff and we look forward to continuing that relationship. We welcome their unbiased evaluation and commentary of our products and services.”
The new Hopper with Sling, unveiled at 2013 CES, delivers several capabilities that improve the DISH experience at home and on the go by allowing customers to watch live and recorded television anywhere on Internet-connected tablets, smartphones and PCs at no additional charge using the Hopper’s new built-in Sling capabilities as well as move recorded television to an iPad for viewing without an Internet connection.
To view the following links and photos, visit http://about.dish.com/news
CNET review – Dish Hopper with Sling: HD DVR almost has it all
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]