Dish and Disney's new deal cuts into ad skipping, allows for internet-only video service

TV networks have long been embroiled in a legal battle with Dish over ad skipping built into the Hopper DVR, but the two sides are finally starting to lay down their arms -- and there may be a few perks for viewers as a result. Disney and Dish have reached a TV distribution deal that gives Dish the rights to stream Disney-owned channels online, both through services like WatchESPN as well as an internet-based TV service from Dish itself. In other words, you may not need a satellite dish to start watching. There is a catch, of course. Both companies have agreed to drop their lawsuits, but Dish will have to prevent Hopper owners from skipping ads on Disney-produced shows until three days after they air. The move should appease Disney advertisers that depend on three-day audience ratings. The agreement should still give Dish subscribers more ways to watch TV, but it could lead to other broadcasters demanding ad skipping limits -- and one of the Hopper's main features could be much less useful.