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WorldNet's Blockbuster deal

AT&T WorldNet moves in on Sprint's deal with Blockbuster video stores to distribute Net access CD-ROMs.

AT&T WorldNet today announced a marketing pact to distribute 2 million CD-ROMs for Net access at Blockbuster outlets nationally, the second such deal since last fall.

Blockbuster struck a similar agreement with Sprint Communications in November to offer 1.5 million CD-ROMs with custom Net access. That deal has now expired.

Both agreements show how Internet service providers are turning to established retail channels to get their product into as many hands as possible at a time when many feel the industry is due for a shakeout.

"We've seen a real appetite for this," Blockbuster spokeswoman Mariesa McClafferty said today. Blockbuster has nearly 3,200 stores.

The WorldNet software will be given to customers who rent three movies or video games during a single visit. The software includes cobranded versions of Netscape Navigator for Windows 95, Windows 3.x, and Macintosh platforms. Users will be linked to a cobranded Web site developed by Lycos and Blockbuster.