DISH Network Stops Blockbuster Rentals - The UpStream

DISH Network Stops Blockbuster Rentals

posted Sunday Nov 10, 2013 by Scott Ertz

DISH Network Stops Blockbuster Rentals

This one was inevitable. Ever since purchasing Blockbuster Video, we knew DISH Network would treat it like HP treated Palm.This week it was announced that the remaining 300 stores would go the way of the previous 500 stores, closing this weekend.

Yesterday, Saturday Nov 9, was the final day to rent a DVD from a corporate-owned Blockbuster retail store. The remaining locations closed last night and will reopen shortly to begin the liquidation process. At that point, based upon what we have seen of liquidations of the past, you will be able to purchase anything from movies and games to store fixtures and signage.

If you were hoping to continue renting movies through Blockbuster's DVD By Mail Service, you will need to prepare to sign-up for Netflix, because DISH will also be shutting down that service in mid-December.

So, why would DISH Network have purchased Blockbuster, just to shut it down? Was it just a terrible decision, like HP buying Palm? Well, there are still some brands left in the Blockbuster family that DISH feels could be profitable.

DISH will retain licensing rights to the Blockbuster brand, and key assets, including the company's significant video library. DISH will focus on delivering the Blockbuster @Home service to DISH customers, and on its transactional streaming service for the general market, Blockbuster On Demand.

The Blockbuster @Home service offers over 15 movie channels including STARZ® Cinema, EPIX®, Sony Movie Channel, and Hallmark Movie Channel, plus over 20,000 movies and TV shows streamed to TVs, computers or iPads®. The service includes access to the Blockbuster @Home 'app' currently available to the millions of TVs served by DISH's Hopper® Whole-Home HD DVR set-top box.

Available to anyone, Blockbuster On Demand is a transactional streaming video service offering thousands of movies viewable on connected devices including PCs, tablets, smartphones, Slingbox, Roku and select Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players. Consumers can learn more at www.blockbusternow.com.

So, it seems a lot like Netflix trying to spin off DVDs, hoping that streaming would be enough to keep them going. As it turned out, people revolted and Netflix reversed directions. The difference here is that Blockbuster has not been able to gain any traction on their DVD rental service, being taken down by RedBox and Netflix. Perhaps not having the overhead of retail stores and the DVD rental service will increase profits for the brand.

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