The Consumer Electronics Association has officially dropped CNET as its Consumer Electronics Show awards partner. CEA has restored Dish’s DishHopper with Sling DVR to the plum “Best of Show” award at CES 2013. CNET, now owned by CBS, had originally given the award to the new Dish product, until parent company CBS intervened and forced CNET to choose another product for “Best of Show”. This was due to CBS’s current lawsuit against Dish, based on the concept that the ad-skipping feature of the DishHopper violates the copyright of broadcasts.
The damage caused by CBS’s ill-conceived meddling could have far-reaching consequences beyond the obvious irreparable damage to CNET’s journalistic credibility and integrity. CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro pointedly criticized CBS’s editorial interference with CNET’s technology coverage, and stated that the CEA would be “considering legal options under (its) agreement with CNET.” CNET, not surprisingly, has been unceremoniously dumped from participation in future CEA events. CEA has requested proposals from other possible partners for future event awards.
At least one well-respected (now former) CNET journalist resigned immediately after CBS’s initial interference. The ongoing saga is likely to result in additional defections as the damage continues to mount. Now we are just waiting for CNET’s advertisers to start defecting, too. Smooth move, CBS.