DISH Network Closing 500 Blockbuster Stores

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DISH Network issued their quarterly earnings report today. The company brought in $3.63 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2011. Net income during the same period came to $313 million. Revenue for the year totaled $14.05 billion, with a net income of $1.52 billion. Income and revenue numbers for both the quarter and the year were up for DISH.

While the news for DISH Network is largely good, fans of the once-indomitable Blockbuster found little to get excited about. While the Blockbuster-branded streaming service has continued to grow, Blockbuster’s brick-and-mortar locations have not fared nearly as well. DISH announced in their earnings report today that 500 of the remaining 1,500 Blockbuster stores would be closing in the coming months, with more closings likely to follow.

In the days before online streaming services became popular, Blockbuster was the biggest name in home video rental. When the popularity of Netflix’s DVD-by-mail service began to grow, Blockbuster launched a competing service of their own that allowed users the option of getting the DVDs in their queue by mail, or in-store. With the advent of RedBox’s movie rental kiosks and online video streaming services like Netflix, however, Blockbuster’s brick-and-mortar stores began to suffer. The situation eventually became so bad that Blockbuster found themselves in bankruptcy. That’s when DISH Network came along. DISH bought Blockbuster, and almost immediately launched a Blockbuster-branded streaming video service to compete with Netflix and Hulu.

While the streaming service has helped save Blockbuster as a company - and boosted DISH Network’s bottom line in the process - its success has not been enough to save Blockbuster’s brick-and-mortar retail chain. The closure announced today will leave the company with just 1,000 stores in the country. You can bet it will only be a matter of time before those doors are closed, too.

Are you upset that more Blockbuster stores are closing? Do you (or anyone you know) still go to video rental stores in your area? Let us know in the comments.

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