So now we know. Dish Network’s Auto-Hop ad-skipping feature is at least as much a negotiating tactic as it is a real product. Just days after the new DVR was announced, CBS, NBC and Fox have filed a lawsuit in federal court charging Dish with copyright infringement for tampering with broadcasters’ signals in order to let viewers automatically skip the commercials during playback. For its part, Dish fired back with its own lawsuit, asking the court for a declaratory judgement that it’s ad-skipping feature is legal. In an interview with the LA Times, however, Dish senior VP of programming David Shull may have given away at least part of the satcaster’s game. According to Shull, Dish introduced the feature partly in retaliation for the networks making their programming available on Hulu and other online services. ”It devalues the live value of that content to my customers,” Shull said. So in turn, Dish is devaluing its viewers to the networks.