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CEA Names Dish’s Hopper Co-Winner Of ‘Best Of CES’ Award

Arlington, Va. — Repercussions from CNET parent CBS Corp. disqualifying Dish’s Hopper with Sling continues, with International CES naming the device as co-winner of Best of Show under the Best of CES Awards, along with the Razer Edge gaming tablet.

In addition, a statement issued by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) said CEA will soon issue a request for proposal to identify a new partner to run the Best of CES awards program. CEA said that The Best of CES awards program is produced by CNET under contract with CEA.

CEA is producer of CES.

CNET editors originally selected the Hopper with Sling as Best of Show before CNET’s corporate parent, CBS Corp., forced them to remove the Hopper from consideration due to ongoing litigation between CBS Corp. and Dish over specific features of the Hopper. After the Hopper was removed from consideration and a revote by the editors, CNET awarded the Razer Edge as Best of Show.

“The CNET editorial team identified the Hopper Sling as the most innovative product of the show, and we couldn’t agree more,” said Karen Chupka, events and conferences senior VP for CEA. “The Hopper with Sling and the Razer Edge both represent the best of the exciting, innovative technology introduced at the 2013 CES. We are pleased to recognize both products as Best of Show.”

CBS, along with other broadcasters, is in litigation with Dish over the Hopper’s capability to allow the recording and playback of programming 24 hours later without commercials.

CEA reiterated a CNET statement from CES that it will no longer review products manufactured by companies with which CBS Corp. is in active litigation with respect to the legality of the specific product. 

Last week, CEA joined several leading tech groups in filing an amicus brief in support of Dish Networks in the suit over the Hopper.

“We are shocked that the ‘Tiffany’ network, which is known for its high journalistic standards, would bar all its reporters from favorably describing classes of technology the network does not like,” said CEA president/CEO Gary Shapiro.

“We believe that the Dish Hopper DVR is fully covered by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios Inc. The simple fact is making television easier to watch is not against the law. It is simply pro-innovation and pro-consumer.”

Chupka said, “CES has enjoyed a long and productive partnership with CNET and the Best of CES awards,” stated Chupka. “However, we are concerned the new review policy will have a negative impact on our brand should we continue the awards relationship as currently constructed.  We look forward to receiving new ideas to recognize the ‘best of the best’ products introduced at the International CES.”