Dish Network wins Blockbuster bid

US DTH provider Dish Network has won the auction for DVD rental company Blockbuster, which went bankrupt last year.

The operator won with a bid of US$320 million (€224 million) but said it would likely pay US$228 million after adjustments are made when the transaction closes. “With its more than 1,700 store locations, a highly recognizable brand and multiple methods of delivery, Blockbuster will complement our existing video offerings while presenting cross-marketing and service extension opportunities for DISH Network,” said Tom Cullen, executive vice-president of sales, marketing and programming for DISH Network. “While Blockbuster’s business faces significant challenges, we look forward to working with its employees to re-establish Blockbuster’s brand as a leader in video entertainment.”

While it appears that Dish will keep at least some of the stores open, where it could also sell its own services, the operator is likely to expand Blockbuster’s online movie rental service that currently makes titles available on Blu-ray players, connected TVs and mobile devices.
Blockbuster went bust last year following pressure from the success of Netflix, which started out as a DVD-via-mail service and later launched a streaming service. Netflix is targeting at least 30 million subscribers by the end of the year.

The deal is expected to conclude by the end of June. 

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