Kaley Cuoco: 'Big Bang Theory' Star Endorses Dish, Unfazed by CBS Lawsuit

Thursday, 28 Feb 2013 08:45 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Kaley Cuoco, star of CBS's hit comedy "The Big Bang Theory," threw caution to the wind Wednesday when she tweeted a paid endorsement for Dish network despite the fact that the network which employs her is locked in litigation with the satellite television provider.

CBS, ABC, Fox, and NBC are all suing Dish separately over its Hopper AutoHop service, which allows people to watch previously aired primetime shows without commercials.

The tweet did not mention the AutoHop feature by name, but linked to an ad that showed friends watching TV on a small phone as they drank tiny beers and discussed the service's benefits.

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"Amazing! Watching live TV anywhere on the #Hopper looks pretty awesome! Now where can I find a tiny beer? #ad," Cuoco tweeted to her more than 1.2 million followers, with a link to the ad.

Cuoco deleted the tweet from her feed as soon as it started drawing attention from various news sites.

Dish told Yahoo!'s TheWrap that it reached out to Cuoco for a paid endorsement because of her celebrity appeal.

"We've reached out to several different celebrities and those with influence for sponsored tweets and so I think she's one of many folks," Dish spokesman John Hall told TheWrap. "Our goal is to introduce our products and services to consumers. We find people that consumers are paying attention to."

CBS and Cuoco's representatives declined to comment.

The Dish AutoHop lawsuit, filed last May, claims that the service poses a serious threat to networks' ad-supported programming models. CBS CEO Les Moonves went so far as to call the AutoHop's ability to completely skip commercials "illegal."

"This service takes existing network content and modifies it in a manner that is unauthorized and illegal," said a CBS statement at the time the suit was filed. "We believe this is a clear violation of copyright law and we intend to stop it."

Dish argues that the AutoHop is no different than giving a subscriber a DVR that contains a fast-forward button.

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"Consumers should be able to fairly choose for themselves what they do and do not want to watch," Dish Network Senior Vice President of programming David Shull said in a statement at the time the suit was filed. "Viewers have been skipping commercials since the advent of the remote control; we are giving them a feature they want and that gives them more control."

Related stories:

CNET Reporter Quits Over Editorial Interference by Parent CBS

Sprint to Approach Dish About Wireless Hookup

AMC, Dish Networks Settle $2.4 Billion Suit Over HD Contract

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