Liberty Media’s Encore Media Group has joined the Advanced Television Copyright Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group formed to monitor emerging personal TV systems that enable viewers to replay broadcasts and, in some cases, skip commercials.

Formed in August, members in the organization include CBS, Discovery Communications, Disney, News Corp. and Time Warner. Except for News Corp., all are individual investors in personal TV services, such as those offered by TiVo Inc. and Replay Networks Inc. that digitally search for and record preselected programming through a set-top box.

Future competitors

The companies also are trying to protect themselves from future players in the market segment, including services from OpenTV, EchoStar, DirecTV and Microsoft’s WebTV Networks Inc.

“We heartily endorse the development of new technologies that give consumers greater control of their TV-viewing experience,” said John J. Sie, founder, chairman and CEO of Encore. “We must, however, keep a watchful eye on protecting the intellectual property rights of creators and distributors of entertainment programming content.”

Encore operates 13 pay TV movie channels, including Starz! and Encore, that reach 50 million homes.