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Ad-Zapper Counters OTT Threat, Dish Chief Says

Here's what's making waves in cable and broadband.

  • AutoHop, Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH)'s ad-zapping feature for the company's new Hopper HD-DVR, is a "competitively necessary" response to cheap, over-the-top video, which is threatening the traditional pay-TV ecosystem, Chairman Charlie Ergen told The Wall Street Journal. Ergen claims that the feature will push networks to create "more meaningful" commercials, and to pursue targeted advertising technologies. And he thinks AutoHop may actually do broadcasters a favor, because its presence will hasten them in that direction. "Ultimately, broadcasters and advertisers have to change the way they do business or they run the risks of linear TV becoming obsolete," Ergen told the paper, which also cites an unnamed ad exec who believes AutoHop is more about Dish trying to create negotiation leverage for retransmission deals. (See Dish Sticks It to the Broadcasters .)

  • Several major broadcasters are suing Dish over the AutoHop feature, but Mark Cuban thinks Dish made a smart move, and urged the parties to come together and strike a settlement. "What Dish is doing with Hopper is smart because you have to start pushing the envelope," he said at a conference. "Wherever we are, people use the best technology available." (See Dish, Broadcasters Go to War Over Ad-Zapper .)

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) Vice Chairman and CFO Michael Angelakis said rumors in the The New York Times that the cable operator is mulling a bid for Sky are "complete rubbish. It is total speculation and inaccurate." The Times reported that Comcast's interest in BSkyB is in the preliminary stages and that Comcast has not made a formal offer or even approached News Corp. (NYSE: NWS), which continues to face fallout from the phone-hacking scandal in the U.K. and isn't expected to renew its original $12 billion bid for the remaining stake in BSkyB.

  • An $875 million antitrust lawsuit filed against Comcast over claims that the operator "used its monopoly power to raise cable prices to artificially high, supra-competitive levels" will go to trial after federal judge in Philadelphia judge upheld some of the claims, reports Bloomberg.

  • Hitron Technologies Inc. will use this week's ANGA Cable Show in Cologne, Germany, to show off its two new flagship Docsis 3.0 products -- the CDA-32372 and CDE-32372. They are the first to be based on Intel's new Puma-6mg chipset, which can bond 24 downstream channels and 8 upstream channels. The modems can pump out maximum downstream bursts of 1.2Gbit/s in EuroDocsis mode, which uses 8MHz-wide channel spacing. The CDA-32372 is a standalone cable modem, and the CDE-32372 is a data gateway with integrated Wi-Fi. (See Intel's New Docsis 3.0 Chip Guns for 1-Gig .)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • AESerm 12/5/2012 | 5:30:36 PM
    re: Ad-Zapper Counters OTT Threat, Dish Chief Says

    The NYT article also mentions Liberty G and DirecTV. Doesn't either one of those seem more plausible than Comcast? 

    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:30:28 PM
    re: Ad-Zapper Counters OTT Threat, Dish Chief Says

    Right, it mentions the strategic sense involvign any of those, but Malone and Murdoch have done a lot of business before, so it's plausible from that standpoint, I suppose. JB

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