Disney: Dish’s “Auto Hop Undermines Their Core Business”

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Disney CEO Bob Iger was rather blunt in a speech today at the Sanford Bernstein Strategic Decisions conference in New York,

“Feels like a ‘bite the hand that feeds you’ approach in my opinion because the quality of the programming that we make, which is relying on various forms of revenue, including advertising, is important to them,” Iger told conference attendees. “By attacking the revenue model and business model, one has to question in the end what, ultimately, if they’re successful, it does to the ability to invest in that product.”

Cable television, through its monopolies in many communities, and huge buying power, has become one of the very few industries almost immune to significant change in its business model. Disney, which holds the largest trump card in the industry, ESPN, definately is someone whose threats one should not take lightly.

Dish’s Auto Hop, which our own Dennis Burger has written about a good bit, is enabled pretty close to the end of the prime Nielsen period for DVR viewing (technically, Nielson counts anything before 3am as “Same Day,” and Auto Hop is enabled at 1am Eastern), but since ratings are in some way still gathered for a week after the program aired, Disney is obviously very interested in not losing a single eyeball.

While I believe a compromise will eventually be reached (either through an additional payment that goes to networks, or more likely a large extension of the window to at least a week before Auto Hop is enabled), it’s pretty obvious that Dish has quite the battle on its hands here.

Via: [Home Media Magazine]


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  • Hunter

    I find “biting the hand that feeds you” to be a strange anology from Bob Iger as the networks get revenue from both commercials and from Dish customers who pay to watch their local networks. Who feeds whom in that scenario? Personally I think the suits are frivolous because anyone with a DVR has been skipping commercials for years now. As a viewer I love Auto Hop because I don’t have a lot of time to enjoy my favorite shows especially as I work late nights at Dish. Now that I don’t have to sit through commercials I can actually squeeze in a few extra episodes in the limited time I do have.