At this point, Auto Hop is likely in the hands of relatively few viewers, but Dish wouldn’t say how many of their customers have it. As a point of comparison, an estimated 700,000 new homes signed up for Dish in the first three months of the year.
The jury is also still out on the ultimate impact of ad skipping. Nearly half of American households with televisions now have DVRs, and there hasn’t been any measurable impact on the rates that advertisers are paying for broadcast commercials.
Ratings indicate that DVR usage has increased viewership of some network TV shows, said Jack Myers, publisher of the industry newsletter The Myers Report. In an odd way, fast-forwarding through commercials often makes people concentrate more intensely on the TV and stop if something interests them, he said.
Allowing a customer to eliminate the commercials entirely, however, is “too big a game-changer,” he said. “It brings to question Dish’s understanding of the fundamentals of broadcast television.”
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