Blockbuster closing more video stores

Dish Network, which acquired the once mighty but now bankrupt video store chain, announces more store closures.

Even after Dish Network acquired Blockbuster, the number of video stores continues to shrink. Greg Sandoval/CNET

As expected, Dish Network has had to continue to whittle down Blockbuster.

Dish, the satellite TV company, said today in a statement that it will continue to operate "more than 1,500 U.S. Blockbuster stores," but added that "despite our efforts to reach reasonable terms, some property owners have closed stores."

In April, Dish paid $320 million for Blockbuster as part of a bankruptcy auction, one of the many humiliations the once-dominant video rental company has had to suffer in recent years. Dish wouldn't say exactly how many stores would close but it could be as many as 200. Blockbuster's assets included 1,700 stores at the time of the auction.

Netflix is probably the most responsible for sending Blockbuster to the bottom. Netflix out-performed Blockbuster in delivery by offering to mail DVDs to customers' homes. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings then delivered the coup de grace by building out a streaming service that made even a walk to the mailbox to obtain a movie an unnecessary chore .

Dish is now looking for a way to revive the company and presumably got a little boost when Netflix stirred resentment with thousands of customers by announcing a price hike last week. On the heels of that announcement, Blockbuster offered Netflix customers a free 30-day trial of one of two subscription plans, neither of which offer streaming.

As the store closures illustrate, Dish has a long way to go to bring back Blockbuster.

 

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