Five months after paying $320 million to purchase Blockbuster, Inc. out of bankruptcy, DISH Network confirmed last Friday that it will introduce a new Blockbuster-branded service on October 1 that will enable DISH satellite TV subscribers to stream movies online and to rent DVDs and video games through the mail. For an extra monthly fee of $10, existing DISH customers will be able to access the new Blockbuster Movie Pass (BMP) service that, combined with DISH’s existing video-on-demand offerings, will include more than 5,000 online movie and TV titles and more than 100,000 DVDs and Blu-Ray discs. The $10 fee will allow customers to rent and return one DVD, Blu-Ray, or gaming disc at a time. Higher rate tiers of $15 and $20 per month will also be offered that will enable customers to check out two or three discs at a time, respectively. New subscribers to DISH’s America’s Top 200 programming tier will have the BMP service included in their $40 monthly subscription. Subscribers to any BMP tier, meanwhile, will be able to manage their queue through the DISH website and return DVDs rented by mail to any Blockbuster retail outlet. The service, which will be limited initially to DISH customers, is expected to pose a competitive challenge to the streaming and online DVD rental services of market leader Netflix as well as to the video streaming offerings of Hulu, Amazon.com, and Wal-Mart’s Vudu service. (Owing to recent pricing and structural changes that angered many customers, Netflix disclosed recently that it would end the third quarter with a million fewer subscribers than first estimated.) Noting that his company is working on a separate, but similar initiative that will be offered to non-DISH subscribers at a future date, DISH CEO Joe Clayton declared that his company’s announcement is “just the beginning of integrating the Blockbuster brand and opportunity into our own business model.”
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DISH Network to launch video streaming service
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