Hopper Fights Hate with VROOM

The war against Hopper—Dish Network’s zippy ad-skipping DVR—has taken a couple of new tacks. TV networks hate it because it enables viewers to breeze through brain-damaging ads. They’ve made their displeasure known by fighting Hopper’s AutoHop and PrimeTime Anytime features in court on flimsy copyright-violation grounds, apparently unaware that the Supreme Court sanctioned home time-shift recording in 1984’s Betamax Decision.

The latest legal battle against the kangaroo-themed DVR is a suit filed by Fox in California district court. Rupert Murdoch’s minions are targeting the DVR’s Internet streaming and recording functions, which would effectively thwart Dish’s latest move to expand Hopper’s functionality.

Meanwhile—and you’ll want to switch on your irony detector for this—the TV networks are refusing to air ads for Hopper. Apparently these are the only ads in the universe they want you to skip.

Looking for an alternative road into the hearts and minds of consumers, Dish recently advertised Hopper on a sponsored NASCAR vehicle driven by Scott Speed. You know we’ll always take Hopper’s side—not just because it’s a great product, but because Dish CEO and longtime CE industry vet Joe Clayton offers such swell quotes:

“The world of technology moves fast, but Fox keeps trying to wave a yellow flag and put consumers under caution, attempting to slow their access to the best in TV entertainment. The Hopper is in the pole position as the fastest in the consumer technology race. We are giving consumers what they want, when they want, and where they want it. Fox is trying to hold up traffic. You can’t stop the future. Everybody skips commercials, and if Fox, CBS, ABC, and NBC think that’s illegal, well, I guess that makes us a nation of outlaws. We might as well make the No. 95 car the Dish fans’ getaway car in what is sure to be an exciting race on Sunday!”

OK, the car finished 23rd, but the Daytona 500 race won 10 percent of the American TV audience and up to 20 percent in the Southern market. Dish may have lost the auto race, but it won the PR battle.