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CES Ditches CNET as Product Judge

Flap over Dish's 'Hopper' puts objectivity into question


The Consumer Electronics Association has removed tech website CNET as the judge for its International Consumer Electronics Showcase.

CEA made the move because of concerns about CNET’s ability to avoid conflicts, reports Reports have surfaced that CNET’s parent company, CBS (NYSE:CBS), blocked CNET’s selection of the Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) Hopper as the best gadget of the show. CBS is entangled in legal action against Dish, as the Hopper allows users to skip commercials.

CEA, in addition to firing CNET, also elevated the Hopper to co-winner of the award with the Razer Edge tablet. Razer Edge won the award in a re-vote after CBS allegedly removed the Hopper from the voting process.

CNET has picked the awards since 2007. CEA generally chooses not to be involved in the voting process because of the multiple relationships it has with CES exhibitors.

‘‘We appreciate the International CES’ decision to stand with the consumer in the acknowledgement of this award. I regret that the award has come in the face of CBS’ undermining of CNET’s editorial independence,’’ said Dish Network CEO Joseph Clayton.

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