Warner Bros Gets Tough With Blockbuster Over Rental Window

By | Wednesday October 26, 2011 @ 4:32pm PDT

Warner Bros and Dish Network’s Blockbuster are at odds over a rental-release window for the studio’s films, and now Warners has stopped giving Blockbuster its latest releases. According to the Financial Times, the retailer is refusing Warner Bros’ request … Read More »

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Dish Network Delivers A Blockbuster Disappointment

Dish Unveils Blockbuster Movie Pass

What a letdown. Dish Network does the dance of the seven veils as it hints that it will take on Netflix, and the big news today is that it will re-brand Blockbuster’s existing streaming and mail-order DVD rental service — and offer it to Dish Network customers willing to pay an extra $10 a month? There’s no way around it: With Blockbuster Movie Pass, Dish just blew a golden opportunity to seize the momentum from Netflix, which is still reeling from the consumer backlash to its 60% price hike for subscribers who want to continue to stream movies and rent DVDs by mail. Blockbuster Movie Pass can stream 3,000 movies to TV sets, and 4,000 to PCs; that’s 25% or less of what Netflix offers. Read More »

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Netflix Is “More Humble” Following Botched Price Hike, CFO Tells Investors

By | Wednesday September 21, 2011 @ 1:04pm PDT

Netflix CFO David Wells acknowledged today that “we’re a more humble team” following the consumer and investor backlash from a series of PR blunders. The company plans to ”step back and look at all options and what we’ll do going forward” to satisfy consumers who were angered in July when the company said it would split its video streaming and DVD rental services — increasing prices by 60% for those who wanted to continue to have both. Lowering the price doesn’t seem to be on the table. That’s “a little bit like kicking the can down the road,” Wells said at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia Conference. “I don’t think it’s going to win back the customers we lost.” Instead, Netflix likely will secure more content and “repair that trust with the consumer over time.” Defections spiked shortly after the announcement, “but it went to zero shortly afterward.” The recent decision to rebrand the DVD business as Qwikster ”introduced additional volatility into the consumer picture.” But the decision to have Qwikster also rent video games is “a signal that we’re continuing to invest and not abandon that consumer.” Read More »

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Dish Network Plans Blockbuster Streaming Service To Rival Netflix; Hulu Bid Reported

By | Friday September 2, 2011 @ 1:13pm PDT

UPDATE, 5:25PM: Dish Network is one of three remaining bidders for streaming video website Hulu, along with Amazon and Yahoo,  an insider told The Financial Times today. The bids for Hulu reportedly are in the $1.5B-$2B range.

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Ex-Blockbuster Boss John Antioco Tapped As Chairman Of Board At Rave Cinemas

By | Thursday August 18, 2011 @ 8:38am PDT

Dallas, TX (August 18, 2011) — Rave Cinemas, LLC (“Rave”) today announced that John F. Antioco, a Director of Rave and the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Blockbuster Inc., will succeed Charles B. Moss, Jr. as Rave’s Chairman. Mr. Moss will remain as the second-largest investor in the company and a member of the board of directors. The leadership change will take place at the meeting of the board of directors on September 19, 2011.

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UPDATE: Dish Network Hints At Wireless Video Streaming Plan, But Shares Lag On Soft 2Q Earnings

UPDATE, 11:00 AM: No Charlie Ergen on today’s earnings call. But Dish Network’s new CEO Joe Clayton did an admirable job of playing cat-and-mouse with analysts who want to know whether the company will use Blockbuster … Read More »

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Report: Plummeting Disc Sales Depress Home Video Business in 1H 2011

A spokesman for DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group says the trade organization didn’t deliberately choose a Friday afternoon to release its dreary new report about consumer spending on home entertainment in the first half of 2011. But from a PR perspective it probably doesn’t hurt to bury news that shows VOD and electronic distribution still can’t make up for the collapse in sales of DVDs. The headline number is that consumer spending on all forms of home video — including DVD and Blu-ray disc sales and rentals, VOD, and online — fell 5.1% vs the first half of 2010 to $8.3B. Last year, spending fell 3.3% in the first half of 2010. DEG says this year’s drop isn’t so bad because last year included Avatar. (It seems that the blockbuster was good enough to include last year when it made sales look strong, but is supposed to be treated as an anomaly now that it makes comparisons look weak.) Still, there’s no getting around the steep decline for DVDs. Consumers bought nearly $3.9B worth of DVD and Blu-ray content, down 18.3% vs the first half of 2010. At this time last year, disc sales were off 7.1% vs. 2009. DVDs are the culprit: Although DEG only reports figures for “packaged goods,” it notes that Blu-ray sales are up more than 10%. Read More »

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Dish Network Will Keep 1,500 Blockbuster Stores Open

Here’s what will be left of the video rental chain that Dish Network bought for $320M. For reference, Blockbuster had 4,255 domestic stores in 2006.

MCKINNEY, Texas, July 21, 2011 – Blockbuster L.L.C. announced today it has assumed contracts with property owners nationwide and will maintain operations of more than

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Coinstar Shares -10.5% In After-Hours Trading As Redbox President Mitch Lowe Leaves For “Other Interests”

Coinstar shares are down nearly 10.5% in after-hours trading as the company coupled this surprising announcement with an early release of financial data that’s lower than Wall Street expected. The owner of the Redbox $1-a-night DVD rental kiosks says that next … Read More »

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UPDATE: Netflix Shares Close -4.1% After Price-Hike Backlash; Blockbuster Offers Deal To Lure Rival’s Angry Subscribers

UPDATE: 12:00 PM: Rival Blockbuster has just pounced on Netflix’s public relations problem, announcing that it is launching a nationwide promotion in which existing Netflix customers who switch to one of Blockbuster’s two Total Access plans (1 disc at a time for $9.99 a month or 2 discs at a time for $14.99 a month) will receive a 30-day free trial. The company, which recently was purchased at a bankruptcy auction by Dish Network, said that besides a lower price it offers benefits Netflix doesn’t: availability of many new releases 28 days before Netflix, unlimited in-store exchanges, video game rentals and no extra charge for Blu-ray movies. “Blockbuster quickly responded to the cries of Netflix customers,” Blockbuster president Michael Kelly said in the release announcing the promotion. “Blockbuster Total Access is Netflix ‘without the wait.’ The combination of DVDs by mail and unlimited in-store exchanges provides more than 100 million people living near Blockbuster stores immediate convenience and unparalleled choice.” The offer is good through Sept. 15; Netflix customers can go to Blockbuster’s website to enroll or show a red Netflix envelope at a Blockbuster store.

PREVIOUS, 10:11 AM: It’s shocking to see how badly Netflix appears to have underestimated the general confusion and anger that has followed the announcement on Tuesday that it’s raising by 60% the price of its combo DVD-by-mail rental and video-streaming service. More than 5,000 mostly furious customers responded to the Netflix blog post unveiling what BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield calls “perhaps the boldest single move in (Netflix) history.” And Netflix shares are down about 3.6% in midday trading as Wall Street wonders whether the company raised prices enough to cover revenue it will lose from people who cancel the service. Lazard Capital Markets’ Barton Crockett says that “few will pay the jarringly higher price” for the streaming and DVD combo plan and “most will move to (Netflix’s) cheaper streaming-only” service. Netflix could lose some of its most profitable customers — the ones who pay the monthly fee for DVD rentals but don’t bother to order many discs. Merriman Capital’s Eric Wold says he “would not be surprised” if many of those subscribers bailed on Netflix to rent DVDs from Redbox’s $1-a-night kiosks. But Goldman Sachs’ Ingrid Chung says Netflix will probably come out ahead: The company makes a much higher profit from streaming than it does from DVD rental, and “a very high number of subs would have to churn off to offset the pricing increase.” Read More »

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Dish Unveils First Blockbuster Promotion

By | Thursday May 19, 2011 @ 1:04pm PDT

Many have been wondering just exactly what Dish Network would do with Blockbuster after it won an auction for the bankrupt video-store chain in April. Heck, even now-outgoing CEO Charlie Ergen was cryptic about Dish’s plan during … Read More »

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Hollywood Could Decide Blockbuster’s Fate, Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen Says

Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen — once tossed out of a Las Vegas casino for card counting — was poker-faced again on Monday in discussing his plans for Blockbuster. In a conference call with analysts he wouldn’t say whether he’ll … Read More »

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DishOnline Adds HBO & Cinemax Content Not Available to Netflix

By | Thursday April 21, 2011 @ 12:05pm PDT

Dish Network has taken another swipe at Netflix with the announcement today that it has partnered with HBO and Cinemax to give its subscribers access to HBO Go and Max Go — premium-channel content that isn’t available on Netflix’s streaming service. Dish customers who subscribe to HBO or Cinemax can … Read More »

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Dish Network Plans To Keep Some Blockbuster Stores Open

By | Monday April 18, 2011 @ 8:50pm PDT

Dish Network has revealed in filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York that it will assume the leases on more than 500 Blockbuster stores, meaning the retailer will remain a bricks-and-mortar business at least in some capacity, the … Read More »

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Bankruptcy Court Approves Blockbuster Sale

Mike Fleming

Despite the objections of 111 parties including plenty of creditors, U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Burton Lifland approved Dish Network’s $320 million offer for the beleaguered vid chain. According to Bloomberg.com, the deal assumes $11.5 million in debt to studios.

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Floundering Blockbuster Bought By Dish Network For $320 Million

By | Wednesday April 6, 2011 @ 4:36am PDT
Mike Fleming

The Blockbuster video chain slogan “Make it a Blockbuster night” hasn’t been relevant in a long time. But it was apt last night. Bidders battled through the evening to capture the distressed asset before Dish Network closed a deal worth $320 million at around 3 AM East Coast time. That bested rival offers that included one from Carl Icahn. The deal has to pass bankruptcy muster, but the bid includes $228 million in cash, which at least gives studios a chance to recoup some of the money owed for past merchandise shipments. Can Dish figure out a way to capitalize on a once mighty brand? I can remember standing in long lines on a Friday to rent a movie, and enduring exorbitant late charges because Blockbuster had more copies than rental store on the hot movie you wanted to see. But with the $1 Redbox option available in kiosks at every supermarket, and Netflix’s painless streaming program and mail rental system, can anyone remember the last time they even stepped foot in a Blockbuster store? Blockbuster’s brick and mortar strategy was exposed as a dinosaur strategy when those other services began to rise, and the behemoth moved too slowly to adapt to the times and protect its turf. Here is the official statement from Dish: Read More »

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UPDATE: Icahn Group Makes Highest Bid For Blockbuster At Auction

By | Tuesday April 5, 2011 @ 2:00pm PDT

UPDATE, 2 PM: An investor group led by Carl Icahn made a leading bid of $310.6M for Blockbuster today in U.S Bankruptcy Court in New York, topping a $307.1M bid by Dish Network, Bloomberg is reporting. Icahn attended the … Read More »

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Blockbuster Creditors Amassing Against April 4 Auction

By | Friday April 1, 2011 @ 10:44am PDT

Amid reports today in the Wall Street Journal that investor Carl Icahn and Dish Network, and even South Korean company SK Telecom, are reportedly preparing bids for Blockbuster ahead of its auction Monday, creditors like Microsoft, Yahoo and T-Mobile are … Read More »

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Miramax Talks Cap Busy Week For Netflix; Blockbuster Busy Too, But Not In Good Way

By | Sunday March 27, 2011 @ 6:41pm PDT

The Wall Street Journal is saying that the revamped Miramax is in discussions with Netflix on a five-year, approximately $100 million deal to add the studio’s content to Netflix’s streaming service. That would give Netflix a 700-plus-title library to add to its catalog, which deflated slightly this week when … Read More »

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