A real-life super hero

First, there was TiVo. Then, there was the DVR. Now, advertisers are battling a super hero of epic proportions whose sole mission is to preserve, protect and defend the viewing rights of Americans everywhere. And, we're not talking about the Hulk, Green Lantern or even Batman.

The new super hero comes from the Dish Network and is called the Hopper. And, get this, it ERASES commercials from any and all TV shows! And, it doesn't even use a ray gun.

The diabolically clever Hopper's ad eraser feature is called the Auto Hop. Some reviewers have already called it, “a dream come true for consumers.” Amen, brother, amen.

But, just as the Man of Steel had his Lex Luthor, Auto Hop has its arch nemesis in the person of every broadcaster and Mad Man in the world. Indeed, as Leslie Mooves, the chief executive of the CBS Corporation, bemoaned: 'How does Charlie Egan expect me to produce CSI without commercials?' (Note: This blogger assumes Mr. Egan is the executive producer of the long-running crime series).

And, Tad Harbert, the chairman of NBC Broadcasting, called Auto Hop “an insult to the TV industry.” Ha! This from a business that abuses us with such drivel as ‘The Jersey Shore’ and ‘16 and Pregnant.’ Puh-lese.

But Harbert wasn't done attacking The Dish Network's technology. He also wined, “Just because technology gives you the ability to do something does that mean you always should? Not always.” Huh? Now, that makes a lot of sense. Why should we use the phone, the automobile or the plane simply because they exist? Silly us. 

Advertising is in full panic mode and I, for one, couldn't be happier.

Pundits have misread General Motors recent decision to dump Facebook advertising as indicating the big car company is a Luddite when it comes to social media. Au contraire, mon frere. GM's marketing executives have finally realized that advertising is losing credibility faster than the New York Mets when they go on one of their lengthy losing streaks. As a result, they reallocated their advertising dollars to other channels that will, in fact, resonate with car buyers.

The Auto Hop is a beautiful invention and, I hope, one day it earns a permanent display in the Smithsonian. Any product that permanently erases commercials is OK by me. Now, if only Dish Hopper engineers could invent a similar technology to make Congress disappear, they'd supplant Superman himself as the ultimate super hero.

8 thoughts on “A real-life super hero

  1. A commercial-free TV may be great for us, but it will sure put a major hit on the networks’ bottom-lines. They’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. They need the income marketers pay to advertise their wares in order to create programming. But, they know services such as The Dish exist because we HATE advertising. Just keep doing what you’re doing and let the networks figure out a new revenue model. The only solution is to copy what cable channels such as HBO do, and charge us for their mediocre fare.

  2. I don’t understand why CBS, FOX, & NBC execs don’t want us to enjoy commercial-free TV. I’m a DISH employee – AutoHop is great because you can easily watch commercial-free TV. Public Knowledge, a consumer advocacy group, is taking a stand for consumers by creating a petition that tells CBS, FOX, & NBC media to keep their hands out of your living room & DVR. Sign their petition to keep control of how you watch TV http://bit.ly/KFdn1Q

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your Dish disappointments, Gaetano. But, I’m sure they can’t come remotely close to matching my horrible experiences with the likes of Comcast, United or New Jersey Transit. That said, the Hopper is a brilliant idea. And, brilliant ideas are quickly copied by others. To which I say, bring it on!

  4. Sounds like a great product…too bad it’s riding on a bad ship. Dish sucks…I have DIRECTV and Dish just doesn’t match up. I hope it won’t be long till the other providers come up with a similar tool.

  5. I don’t see how the networks can respond to The Hopper. It provides the ultimate solution to the pain of suffering through TV commercials. Without funding, I think broadcast networks will cease to function as they do today (with the exception of live events). I also think Madison Avenue has a fundamental problem on its hands. Unless they pay consumers to watch their drivel, no one will. That’s a tough value proposition for any industry.

  6. Yup, power to the people indeed. I hear a lot about the “poor” networks crying into their overpriced lattes, and am glad they will now be forced to try something new or innovative for once, in order to protect their revenue stream. It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with, as my Dish coworkers and I don’t see the Auto Hop going away anytime soon.

  7. Haha I like your style man, it’s good to see some deadpan sarcasm AIMED at the Networks, not protecting them. I have Dish and the new Hopper, and couldn’t agree more about its benefits. I love that I can get an hour long show done in 40 minutes or so, and my wife likes that she doesn’t have to fast forward through the ads anymore. I was psyched to get the Hopper when it was released, but my boss at Dish told me to wait until the Auto Hop was out. Now that I have it, I save time catching up on my shows and love the relative peace of not listening to the Geico ads anymore!