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Dish Network, Disney Deal Stumbles Over Ad Hopper Feature

The technology lets viewers avoid commercials


DirecTV BlockbusterContract negotiations between Dish Network (DISH) and Disney (DIS) have apparently hit a roadblock over the satellite TV provider’s new ad-skipping feature.

Sources tell Bloomberg that while discussions between the media giant and Dish continue, the AutoHop technology that is included in Dish’s Hopper set-top boxes remains a sticking point. Hopper users can skip over  commercials in pre-recorded TV shows with a single push of a remote control button. The two sides are also at odds over the terms for two new Disney channels.

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The ad-skipping feature has drawn the ire of broadcasters. Dish has been sued over the Hopper by Disney, CBS (CBS), 21st Century Fox (FOXA) and Comcast‘s (CMCSA) NBC.

Dish and Disney agreed to extend the deadline for a deal earlier this week, avoiding a blackout of Disney owned channels for Dish subscribers. Disney is demanding a hefty increase in subscriber fees for popular channels like ESPN.

In addition to the Hopper issues, Dish and Disney are trying to negotiate the terms to bring Disney’s new college sports SEC Network and Hispanic-oriented Fusion channels to Dish.

Shares of Dish climbed about 3% in Wednesday morning trading, while Disney fell slightly.

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