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Owing to continuing legal battle, DISH Network Corp. (DISH - Analyst Report) was denied a prestigious award for its Hopper DVR at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. DISH, the second largest satellite TV operator in the U.S., has introduced its Hopper series of innovative DVR systematically. Initially, theHD whole-home Hopper DVR was introduced together with a sidekick called “Joey”. The device enables the users to watch TV shows and movies in four different rooms at the same time and can record 6 HD shows at once. Hooper is developed with an in-build 2-terabyte hard disk that can store 2,000 hours of sports and entertainment contents.   

Last October, DISH introduced a new feature called AUTO HOP, which will enable any DISH subscriber to record prime time TV programming from four major networks, such as programs of CBS Corp. (CBS - Analyst Report), ABC of The Walt Disney Co. (DIS - Analyst Report), NBC Universal of Comcast Corp. (CMCSA - Analyst Report), and FOX Networks of News Corp. (NWSA - Analyst Report) simultaneously. The most innovative feature of this technology is that after turning the switch on, the viewers can watch prime time TV shows later without viewing commercial advertisements.

AUTP HOP faced severe criticism from all four major broadcast TV operators mentioned above. The TV content producers claimed that commercial advertisements are at the center stage of the broadcast TV business model and skipping those advertisements will simply make their businesses unsustainable. Auto Hop is still under court observation.

In CES 2013, DISH introduced a more powerful Hopper DVR, which will enable remote viewing of TV shows on subscribers’ mobile devices (smartphone or tablet) using DISH’s proprietary Sling transmission technology. Despite pathbreaking technological innovation, Hopper DVR was barred from industry award due to legal battle.

We maintain our long term Outperform recommendation on DISH Network. Currently, the stock has a short term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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