Dish Network has agreed to acquire the assets of Blockbuster, after winning a bankruptcy court auction for them. The price tag – $320 million.
After closing adjustments, Dish expects to pay about $228 million in cash. The closing is expected in the second quarter.
“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.”
Blockbuster has been struggling for quite some time, as players like Netflix and Redbox have eaten into customers’ DVD rental dollars. With more and more options for streaming/downloading movies online becoming available, things are not getting easier. That includes an emerging streaming-via-Facebook phenomenon that is likely to escalate.
It’s unclear what Dish’s plans for Blockbuster are at this point. Will it be mostly about content licensing? It looks like content exclusivity is becoming the weapon of choice in the battle for customers.
Netflix recently announced that it will offer the new David Fincher/Kevin Spacy project: House of Cards exclusively, followed by more exclusive programming. DISH recently put out an announcement touting itself as the only service to offer Reelz with The Kennedys in HD Nationwide.
“DISH Network has chosen to support an independent during a very important time in our network’s history,” said REELZCHANNEL CEO Stan E. Hubbard.
“DISH Network is always seeking ways to offer our customers unique and compelling viewing experiences,” said Dave Shull, senior vice president of Programming for DISH Network.
One of the biggest things Blockbuster has had going for it is getting some movies earlier than its competitors. This may end up translating into good things for Dish customers.