Published: 09.49 Europe/London, April 7, 2011
DISH Network Corporation has emerged as the winning bidder from the sale of assets of Blockbuster Inc, the bankrupt retail video chain. The 14 million-subscriber DBS operation fronted by CEO Charlie Ergen will pay around $228 million (€160 million) in cash for the venture.
“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.”
It seems unlikely that DISH will keep Blockbuster just as a retail store, a declining business, which has lost revenues both to companies such as DISH and the opportunities of connected TVs. More likely Ergen will use Blockbuster as a vehicle both to promote DISH and potentially rival Netflix.
Blockbuster also has around 650 stores around Europe, principally in the UK, the plans for which are unknown.