This is what I thought. Dish has a reasonable case to make that retransmission fees for content that is provided free over the air entitles them to do what they want with the commercials. I have no idea how well they will do with this, but it will certainly prove interesting.
DISH today filed suit against ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC in federal court for a declaratory judgment on questions that have arisen related to the pay-TV provider’s May 10 introduction of a user-enabled commercial skipping technology called AutoHop. DISH’s monthly subscriber fees include significant “retransmission fees” that DISH pays to the major networks. Although the broadcasters have made much of their content available for free using sites such as Hulu, they have continued to demand substantial increases in their retransmission fees. In addition to increasing media reports of planned legal action against DISH, three of the networks — CBS, Fox and NBC – have rejected ads for DISH’s Hopper Whole-Home DVR, the device that features the AutoHop function.