Never accuse "The Big Bang Theory" star Kaley Cuoco of toeing the CBS company line.
Even as CBS is suing Dish over a feature in its Hopper service, the actress tweeted a paid endorsement for the satellite TV provider on Wednesday. CBS, ABC, Fox and NBC are locked in litigation with Dish over the Hopper's "Auto Hop" feature, which allows people to watch previously aired primetime shows — like "The Big Bang Theory" — without commercials.
Cuoco tweeted an ad for the Hopper that does not mention Auto Hop. Rather, it features friends watching TV on a tiny phone as they drink tiny beers, and notes that the Hopper allows people to watch their favorite programs on tablets and phones.
"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.
The tweet was removed from Cuoco's feed after TheWrap inquired about it.
Cuoco's representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday. CBS and Warner Bros. TV, which produces "The Big Bang Theory" for the network and employs Cuoco, declined to comment.
Dish is known for its bare-knuckle negotiating and for getting under the skin of networks with which it has conflicts. Recruiting Cuoco, the star of one of CBS's top shows, would seem an ideal way to rankle CBS.
The networks say Dish's ad-skipping technology poses a serious threat to the ad-supported programming model that allows shows like "The Big Bang Theory" to exist. Last May, before networks sued to stop Auto Hop, CBS CEO Les Moonves told TheWrap that he considers the service "illegal."
Cuoco is one of many celebrities — and others with lots of followers — who have found that they can make some extra money from the burgeoning field of Twitter endorsements. She is one of many who tweeted the Dish ad for money.
Dish told TheWrap that it reached out to Cuoco because of her appeal and influence — just as it has with other paid endorsers.
"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."
The actress also appeared in a Super Bowl ad for Toyota, and last month joined William Shatner for a series of Priceline ads.