Dish Network rips CBS for pulling Hopper from CNET's 'Best of CES' Awards

Calls move 'insulting to consumers'
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Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) complained Thursday that its Hopper DVR was dropped from CNET's "Best of CES" awards program because of a legal battle with CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS), which owns the tech media publisher.

Dish Hopper DVR

Dish's Hopper DVR: snubbed at CES. (Image source: Dish)

The satellite TV provider launched Hopper early last year. Its multiroom DVR contains an AutoHop function that can automatically remove all of the commercials from primetime programs on CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox when activated by subscribers. CBS and several other broadcasters sued Dish for alleged copyright infringement last year, and CBS president Les Moonves has threatened to pull CBS owned-and-operated stations from Dish unless it deactivates the AutoHop feature.

While CNET gave Hopper a positive review, it announced earlier this week that it pulled the DVR from its Best of CES Awards program because of Dish's litigation with CBS. "We will no longer be reviewing products manufactured by companies with which we are in litigation with respect to such product," CNET said in an editor's note.

Dish criticized CBS for the move. "We are saddened that CNET's staff is being denied its editorial independence because of CBS' heavy-handed tactics," Dish said in a prepared statement. "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 company added.

For more:
- see the Dish release
- see the CNET review and editor's note

Related articles:
CBS threatens to pull stations from Dish over Hopper dispute
Dish Network adds Sling capabilities to Hopper DVR
Mark Cuban backs Dish's Hopper ad-skipping DVR

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