On today's show, we bid an only slightly passive-aggressive farewell to Jason Howell on his last day here at CNET. Jerk. Love you, babe! Also, we're beret without the Bookface, Netflix apologizes for rightly calling Americans self-absorbed, and did you really think the Apple TV was going to ship on time? --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Netflix finally knocked off Blockbuster yesterday. Leaders of pay TV services might be wise to start doing the business equivalent of digging foxholes and manning the battlements, or the same thing could happen to them.
There's a growing body of evidence that pay TV services--that is, cable, broadband, and telephone companies that offer films and TV shows--are ripe for a smackdown. Talk of cord-cutters is all over business news and the momentum in home-video distribution appears to be with companies that do it over the Web, such as Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, and the upcoming Google TV.
Skeptics say … Read more
Blockbuster has had a rough few years, but this one has been especially painful.
First, its shares were delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. And now, as expected, it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization as it struggles to compete with online video-rental service Netflix and the rental-kiosk phenomena.
Calling it "prearranged recapitalization," Blockbuster announced today that it has filed Chapter 11 petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The reorganization encompasses only the company's U.S.-based operations and stores that it wholly owns. International operations and franchises are not included in the filing, … Read more
Netflix was accused of trying to pump up the excitement around the launch of its new Web video service in Canada today.
During a scheduled press event in Toronto, members of Canada's media said they noticed that some of the responses from people in attendance sounded like "canned responses," according to the Web site of Canadian news service The Financial Post. Reporters began to grow suspicious.
They were right. Some of the people who attended the event were actors paid by Netflix, but according to Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey, the actors weren't paid to attend the … Read more
As it fights for survival, video-rental chain Blockbuster is preparing to file bankruptcy next month, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
Blockbuster executives met with the six largest Hollywood film studios recently to brief them about the company's plan, the Times reported. The move by Blockbuster, which closed down nearly 1,000 retail stores in the past year, appears designed to help the company get out of leases on perhaps as many as 800 underperforming stores, according to the report. The chain operates more than 3,400 stores.
Blockbuster reportedly plans to file something called a &… Read more
Blockbuster has decided to take on GameFly by offering over 3,000 video games in its By Mail offering.
According to Blockbuster, its mail service will now offer games for every major console, including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii, as well as titles from the original Xbox and the PlayStation 2. It was quick to point out that, unlike Netflix, it's the only company that delivers customers the option to rent movies, television shows, and games all in the same package.
The company isn't charging any more for the service by adding video games to … Read more
Redbox, which has rented more than 880 million DVDs since its inception, is now starting to offer Blu-ray rentals at some of its 23,000 kiosks, the company announced Friday.
The company didn't provide too many details on its Blu-ray rentals. A new Blu-ray page is displayed on the company's site, saying simply that the company now rents the format. It also has a search box where users can input their ZIP codes to see if Blu-ray films are available in their area.
Movie Gallery, the once powerhouse video-rental chain, went bankrupt last spring and is now trying to sell off such assets as trademarks, URLs, and proprietary technology.
While the company's demise and liquidation means more bad news for traditional video rentals, it could be a boon for Web video start-ups. At its height five years ago, Movie Gallery operated 4,700 Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery stores and generated $2.5 billion in annual revenue. A Web video service looking to work under a well-known brand or glean insights from the company's sales and marketing data might find something … Read more