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DISH App Connects Viewers Via Social Media

16 Jan, 2013 By: Doug McPherson

LAS VEGAS – DISH Network has introduced a new app for iPad that makes TV program recommendations to viewers based on what their social network friends are watching.

The app includes social TV, or “second screen” abilities, that let viewers use and track Twitter and Facebook discussions on shows as they air. For sports, the app collects real-time stats and can find games popular on social media. The app essentially lets viewers replace their remote controls with their iPads where they can also operate and manage their Hopper DVR boxes.

“Customers are already using tablets while watching TV but, until Explorer, it had been two separate experiences,” Vivek Khemka, vice president of product management at DISH, said in a statement. “What we’ve done is develop an integrated, seamless experience between the tablet and the television; only the Hopper creates an entirely new viewing dynamic.”

MediaPost reports DISH’s entry into the second-screen world appears more ambitious than some like Comcast/Xfinity and is moving more aggressively to capture some of the social TV behaviors that individual networks and third-party apps like Shazam and Zeebox are attempting to grab at the same time.

In other DISH news, the company’s legal battles regarding AutoHop (which automatically zaps all commercials in some prime-time shows) with broadcast networks could be extended, and DISH might find itself on the losing end, according to Barclays’ Anthony DiClemente. He wrote last week that DISH would “likely” have to return to court, due to the new allegations of breach of contract. DiClemente also said the broadcasters may have a persuasive argument.

“While DISH is seemingly trying to push the industry in the right direction with TV Everywhere, or simply gain leverage over the programmers, we believe the company needs to pay due compensation to the content owners for the new and innovative services that they hope to offer,” he wrote.

About the Author: Doug McPherson

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