Dish, Fox settle litigation over Hopper ad-skipper

Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:07pm EST
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By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) - Dish Network Corp (DISH.O: Quote) and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O: Quote) on Thursday said they have ended nearly four years of litigation over the Hopper, a Dish device that lets viewers skip over commercials when playing back shows.

In a joint statement, the companies said Dish agreed to turn off its AutoHop commercial-skipping feature on Fox programming until seven days after the programs first air.

The accord also resolves all disputes over Slingbox technology, which lets programs be viewed on a wide range of mobile devices, as well as the so-called PrimeTime AnyTime and Transfers features, the companies said.

Fox and other broadcasters had in 2012 sued Dish to force it to withdraw what they viewed as video-on-demand technology that infringed their copyrights and could reduce advertising revenue because of the commercial-skipping feature.

CBS Corp (CBS.N: Quote) and Walt Disney Co's (DIS.N: Quote) ABC settled similar litigation in 2014, as part of broader agreements that allowed Dish to broadcast their programs.

The accord between Dish and Fox averts a scheduled Sept. 6 trial in Los Angeles federal court.

Both companies stipulated to the lawsuit's dismissal in a filing with that court on Wednesday.

Comcast Corp's (CMCSA.O: Quote) NBCUniversal also filed a similar lawsuit against Dish. That case was put on hold in August 2014 pending a resolution in the Fox litigation.   Continued...

A Dish Network logo is seen on a satellite dish on a Brooklyn apartment building roof in New York June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid