In recent lawsuits, major broadcast networks NBC, CBS and Fox have all attempted to sue Dish Network over the satellite provider’s so-called “Auto Hop” feature that allows viewers to automatically skip TV commercials. This makes me wonder: How many of you actually watch commercials?
Commercials are a necessary evil for broadcast TV. Aside from the premium subscription channels, advertising pays for the programming we watch. On the other hand, commercials are at best a nuisance for viewers. In today’s day and age, we have the technology to easily record our shows by DVR and simply fast forward through the ads (whether we need the Hopper to do this for us or not).
While I’m not a lawyer, I don’t see how the networks have a leg to stand on (no pun intended) with these lawsuits. They claim that the Hopper feature amounts to a “copyright violation,” which seems ridiculous to me. Fast Forward buttons have been a standard feature of VCRs, DVRs and other recording devices for decades. The network has no authority to mandate how a viewer chooses to watch its content. Whether the courts agree is something yet to be determined.
I record pretty much everything. Even for priority shows, I’ll give myself at least 15-20 minute buffer before I start watching so that I can skip commercials. Do you do the same, or do you watch programs live with commercials?