Thursday, January 31, 2013

CES will seek new partner, dumping CNET, after controversial DISH Hopper incident

There will be repercussions for the CNET/CBS "Best of Show" controversy as the Consumer Electronics Association show announced it will be looking for a new partner to run its awards program.

The controversy started when CBS Corp. forced CNET to withdraw DISH TV’s Hopper for consideration for the "Best of CES" award. In fact, it was discovered shortly after the controversy began, DISH's Hopper was to be the winner. But CBS is in litigation with DISH and so CNET was forced to scramble and eventually named the Razer Edge gaming tablet as "Best of Show."

"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 and CEO Gary Shapiro in its announcement today. "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."

And now the repercussions: International CES will now issue a new request for proposal seeking to find a new partner to run its Best of CES awards program – presumably CNET need not apply.

"CES has enjoyed a long and productive partnership with CNET and the Best of CES awards," Karen Chupka, senior vice president, events and conferences for CEA said. "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."