ENGLEWOOD, COLO. –
Dish has opened up its Hopper app to developers.
As of Tuesday, Dish said “trusted partners” would be able to access many of the
application programming interfaces that it uses for Dish Explorer, the mobile
app for the satellite operators Hopper set-top. Explorer essentially is Dish’s
virtual remote for tablet computers.
Developers will be able to create new ways for subscribers to find shows on the
program guide or recorded to the Hopper’s hard drive. Their apps will also be
able to control the Hopper by changing channels, setting recordings and playing
back DVR and on-demand shows.
“Dish already has its own suite of mobile apps designed to work with the
Hopper, but we want to see what other experiences trusted partners might create
if given the opportunity,” said said Vivek Khemka, senior vice president of
Product Management for Dish.
Thuuz Sports is the first developer to incorporate Dish’s APIs into their
app, enabling Dish customers to control their Hopper receiver directly from
Android or iOS smartphones. Thuuz Sports uses real-time analytics and social
signaling to alert viewers to exciting sporting events.
Fans can customize the app based on their favorite teams and sports leagues,
including NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NCAAF and NCAABB. The Thuuz Sports app also
enables one-click recording of live or upcoming matches on the Hopper if a
customer is away from their TV.
Dish’s Hopper set-top remains the object of litigation by broadcasters because
of an ad-skipping feature that targets only over-the-air networks. The Hopper
automatically records primetime programming from Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC, with an
“AutoHop” option that skips commercials on playback. Broadcasters claim this
violate copyright law in that it materially alters their signal.
CBS, Fox and NBCU filed suits in a California federal court, and CBS filed a
retransmission violation suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York, saying Dish failed to mention the Hopper during contract
Last year, Fox lost a bid for an injunction from the U.S. District Court for the Central
District of California in Los Angeles, a decision now on appeal at the Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals.
In the meantime, Dish has marched forward, rolling out a version of the Hopper
with Sling place-shifting capability. The Sling-Hopper was the subject of
controversy at the January Consumer Electronics Show when CNET, which is owned
by CBS, gave it a “Best of CES” award, which CBS summarily kyboshed. The
Consumer Electronics Association then stepped in declared the Sling-Hopper a
Following the CES hoo-ha, Dish rolled out a Hopper mobile app in March for
following the NCAA playoffs.
June 4, 2013,
“Fox Presses Appellate
Panel to Stop Dish’s Ad-Skipping Features,
” in Variety
March 20, 2013,
Adds Mobile App to Hopper for March Madness
Dish has beefed up its Hopper apps in time for March Madness. Updates include
the new Hopper sports app, Game Finder, which displays all the Tournament games
in one location and allows viewers to tune in to, or record, upcoming games
directly from the app.
February 11, 2013,
Rolls Out Controversial Sling-Hopper
Dish said the new set-top, which combines the ad-skipping, time-shifting
features of the Hopper with Sling Media’s place-shifting capability, will be
rolled out with a multimillion-dollar national marketing campaign featuring
Dish’s “Boston Guys.”
January 28, 2013,
Friends Dish’s Hopper
Let stand the Hopper, the CEA said in an amicus brief filed in federal court.
The CEA, along with the Computer and Communications Industry Association and
the Internet Association, filed a joint amicus brief in the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in support of the Hopper, a set-top box from Dish
Network that can be programmed to automatically skip commercials on recorded,
prime-time broadcast network programming.
January 24, 2013,
Says Dish Concealed Hopper in Retrans Negotiations
Dish failed to disclose its intention to launch a commercial-skipping option
when it worked out retransmission consent with CBS, the broadcast network said
in documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
Nov. 12, 2012:
Appeals to Stop the Hop
Fox’s legal team wasted no time in appealing a federal judge’s decision last
week to let Dish keep on skipping broadcast TV commercials.
Nov. 8, 2012:
Lets Dish Keep on Hopping
Judge Dolly Gee of the United States District Court for the Central District of
California denied Fox’s request to order Dish to stop skipping network TV
commercials, published reports indicate.
May 29, 2012:
Dish Sue Each Other Over Hopper
As expected, three out of the four major broadcast networks filed lawsuits
against Dish Network and its Hopper DVR that allows viewers to automatically
skip TV ads.