Samsung partners with Blockbuster for streaming movie service

By on February 21, 2012 at 8:15 PM.

Samsung partners with Blockbuster for streaming movie service

Samsung has partnered with Blockbuster to stream thousands of movies to the company’s smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks, laptops, smart TVs and Blu-ray players, reports Smarthouse. The service will reportedly be rolled out in the United States and Europe in the first half of 2012, with an Australian scheduled to take place by early September. Samsung is also rumored to be developing a new global billing system that will allow users to easily log-in and pay for media content right from their devices. Blockbuster is the largest provider of rental movies in Australia, although in recent years the company has lost ground to both Netflix and Redbox. The deal is considered a win-win “for both Samsung, Blockbuster and Australian movie watchers,” according to Paul Uniacke the CEO of the Franchise Entertainment Group who has the rights to the Blockbuster brand in Australia. More →

No Comments

Blockbuster Movie Pass streams unlimited content, but only for Dish subscribers

By on September 23, 2011 at 11:15 PM.

Blockbuster Movie Pass streams unlimited content, but only for Dish subscribers

Dish Network on Friday announced the upcoming availability of Blockbuster Movie Pass, an unlimited video streaming service akin to Netflix’s “Watch Instantly.” Beginning October 1st, Dish subscribers will have unlimited access to a small library of digital content that they can stream to a PC or to a TV using a standard Dish set-top box. While Netflix is moving in a completely different direction, having just spun off its DVD rental service to focus on streaming, Dish is sticking with the multi-pronged approach as Blockbuster’s best bet. “We’ve created a package that combines the best assets of the movie entertainment and video gaming industries with the convenience and integration provided by a multichannel video provider,” said Blockbuster president Michael Kelly in a statement. “Blockbuster Movie Pass is the ultimate programming package for every movie buff. The combination of DVDs by mail and unlimited in-store exchanges provides more than 100 million people living near Blockbuster stores, which are open 7 days a week, immediate satisfaction and unmatched choice.” Dish’s full press release follows below. More →

33 Comments

Blockbuster again targets Netflix, readies streaming service

By on September 23, 2011 at 8:00 AM.

Blockbuster again targets Netflix, readies streaming service

Former home entertainment heavyweight Blockbuster is preparing to unveil a new streaming media service later today that will aim to take a bite out of Netflix’s future. While the company has made no official announcements at this point, invitations to a 1:00 p.m. Eastern press conference refer to a new service that is a “stream come true.” This is not the first time Blockbuster has chased Netflix in an effort to save its faltering business. The company introduced its “Total Access” service years ago — a spitting image of the DVD rentals-by-mail service that made Netflix the giant it is today — but the lack of a compelling argument and a string of terrible policy changes takes us to where we are today: Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy and was subsequently bought at auction by Dish Network. The firm’s Total Access service remains operational, though Netflix is doing everything it can to bury its DVD service, and now Blockbuster will take the next step in its attempted comeback.

34 Comments

Blockbuster tries to lure customers back following acquisition

By on August 2, 2011 at 7:00 AM.

Blockbuster tries to lure customers back following acquisition

Following bankruptcy and an ensuing acquisition at auction, Blockbuster is now trying to lure back the hordes of customers it lost to competitors like Redbox and Netflix. A BGR reader sent us a letter that Blockbuster is circulating to recent defectors in an effort to win back their business in a post-Dish Network world. Among the carrots Blockbuster is currently dangling are a free 30-day Total Access trial and a “special rate,” though that special rate is not disclosed in the email. Blockbuster’s Total Access service was created as a direct response to Netflix, offering DVD rentals by mail just as Netflix does, though Blockbuster’s option is now more affordable following Netflix’s price hikes. Of course Total Access used to be a much more attractive option than it is in its current state, but the lower pricing and the quicker availability of new titles could be attractive benefits over rival Netflix. Blockbuster’s letter to former Total Access customers can be found below. More →

25 Comments

Sony PlayStation Vita could launch in October

By on August 1, 2011 at 8:51 PM.

Sony PlayStation Vita could launch in October

Sony’s brand new portable gaming console, the PlayStation Vita, could launch as soon as this fall according to IGN. A Blockbuster flier in the United Kingdom started the rumor. The advertisement suggests the PS Vita Wi-Fi edition and 3G & Wi-Fi model will both launch on October 28th. A Sony spokesperson confirmed with IGN that the company will begin a “phased global release” during the holiday season, but would not confirm specific dates. We already know that the Vita will cost $249.99 in the United States and that a version with AT&T 3G will be available for $299.99. Hopefully we see the console hit U.S. shores by the holidays, too. Read on for a shot of the leaked flier. More →

12 Comments

Hulu sued for patent infringement

By on July 29, 2011 at 7:31 PM.

Hulu sued for patent infringement

A firm named Rovi Corp has filed a complaint with the U.S. District court of Delaware alleging that Hulu infringes on one of its patents. Rovi Corp is not often in the headlines but its client list sports names of big hitter tech firms. Reuters said that Rovi licenses technology to Apple, Comcast and Microsoft and is even used to support the back-end of BlockBuster’s On Demand service and Best Buy’s CinemaNow. Hulu was put up for sale on June 24th and a number of companies are rumored to have been considering a bid on the streaming media company, including Apple. Hulu has yet to comment on the lawsuit. More →

17 Comments

Dish Network to shutter 200 more Blockbuster stores

By on July 22, 2011 at 7:20 PM.

Dish Network to shutter 200 more Blockbuster stores

Dish Network on Thursday revealed plans to shutter 200 additional Blockbuster stores, dropping the number of nationwide locations to approximately 1,500. Dish won an auction to take control of Blockbuster and its remaining assets this past April, after the fallen giant filed for bankruptcy last September. Dish said that the 15,000 employees working in Blockbuster locations that will remain operational will not lose their jobs. The company also said employees of the locations set to be shuttered will have the opportunity to transfer to other stores. Blockbuster failed to evolve with the shifting movie rental industry — when it finally did begin to offer new portfolio options to compete with the likes of Netflix, it neglected to add any real value or differentiation beyond competitive offerings. Coupled with the expense of operating physical rental shops, Blockbuster didn’t stand a chance. Dish Network acquired Blockbuster’s in April for approximately $228 million in cash, and it remains to be seen whether or not Dish can manage to transform the current business into something worthwhile. More →

19 Comments

Dish’s Blockbuster buy approved by judge

By on April 7, 2011 at 11:46 PM.

Dish’s Blockbuster buy approved by judge

A bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved Dish Network’s winning bid and gave it the OK to acquire Blockbuster for $320 million. Dish’s bid topped other bidders including Cobalt Video, a group of hedge funds lead by Monarch Alternative Capital, and billionaire investor Carl Icahn earlier this week at an auction for Blockbuster’s business and assets. New York Judge Burton Lifland gave his approval in bankruptcy court, and Dish will now assume control of 1,700 remaining Blockbuster locations, the company’s DVD-by-mail business and its streaming video business. Now that a judge has approved the deal, Dish is expected to pay roughly $228 million for Blockbuster when factoring in the value of the fallen video giant’s remaining cash and other assets. Proceeds from the sale will help Blockbuster’s creditors, which include multiple movie studios and Carl Icahn, reclaim a portion of the $1 billion they are collectively owed. More →

2 Comments

Dish Network wins Blockbuster auction

By on April 6, 2011 at 7:50 AM.

Dish Network wins Blockbuster auction

Pending approval at a hearing scheduled for Thursday, Dish Network will acquire Blockbuster Inc. following an auction that took place earlier this week. The company’s winning bid was approximately $320 million but the acquisition is expected to land at about $228 million in cash, taking into account Blockbuster’s inventory, available cash and other adjustments. Blockbuster was put up for sale at an auction on Monday following its recent bankruptcy filing, and several companies competed for control of Blockbuster’s business and assets. Dish’s winning bid topped several other bidders including Cobalt Video, a group of hedge funds lead by Monarch Alternative Capital, and billionaire investor Carl Icahn. “Blockbuster will complement our existing video offerings while presenting cross-marketing and service extension opportunities for Dish Network,” said Dish Network’s EVP of sales, marketing and programing, Tom Cullen. More →

10 Comments

Facebook streaming movie trial sets sights on Netflix

By on March 8, 2011 at 10:11 AM.

Facebook streaming movie trial sets sights on Netflix

The Warner Bros. blockbuster The Dark Knight has become the first title to be made available for rental on Facebook, giving us our first glimpse of what ultimately could be a truly disruptive home entertainment product. Executives at Netflix, Hulu, Redbox and other similar services were no doubt squirming in their seats on Tuesday morning following the announcement that users can now use Facebook credits to rent The Dark Knight for $3. One rented, the movie can be streamed directly from the movie’s Facebook fan page for 48 hours. “Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people,” said Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, in a statement. “Making our films available through Facebook is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts. It gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world’s largest social network.” Warner Bros. said it also plans to make digital movies available for purchase via Facebook. Hit the break for Warner Bros.’ full press release. More →

28 Comments

Blockbuster filing for bankruptcy

By on September 23, 2010 at 7:20 AM.

Blockbuster filing for bankruptcy

Via a press release, Blockbuster has announced a “pre-arranged” bankruptcy in order to “recapitalize” and “substantially reduce its indebtedness.” The Chapter 11 filing will take the embattled company’s debt from roughly $1 billion down to $100 million; the filing is for the company’s U.S. branches only. “Blockbuster franchise locations in both the U.S. and abroad are independently owned, operated and funded, and are also continuing normal business operations,” explained the press release. Unfortunately, if you happen to hold some Blockbuster debt — and are not part of the company’s 11 “3/4 percent senior secured note holders” – you’re going to be out in the cold. “Under the proposed plan, there would be no recovery by the holders of the Company’s outstanding subordinated debt, preferred stock or common stock,” reads the filing. Hit the read link for the full release. More →

20 Comments

L.A. Times: Blockbuster to file Chapter 11 next month

By on August 27, 2010 at 9:28 AM.

L.A. Times: Blockbuster to file Chapter 11 next month

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the once mighty Blockbuster will file for bankruptcy as early as next month. The Times quotes anonymous sources “familiar with the matter” in the report and explains that the filing could take five months and see 500 to 800 retail outlets closed. The company is seeking protection under Chapter 11 in order to restructure their current debt-load of roughly $1 billion (that’s billion with a “b”). The bankruptcy is being described as pre-planned, and most of Blockbuster’s creditors will have some sort of deal in place with the company when the filing is made official. More →

44 Comments

Redbox developing an online streaming service to compete with Netflix?

By on July 20, 2010 at 6:35 AM.

Redbox developing an online streaming service to compete with Netflix?

RedboxWalmartPhoto

Redbox is reportedly exploring possibilites to expand its movie rental service beyond kiosks and onto the Internet. According to Redbox President Mitch Lowe, Redbox is considering a web service to to expand the availability of its 100,000 movie catalog and to make it easier for consumers to access its service. Initial details are not expected to be unveiled until October but the movie rental company could benefit from a strong online offering. With Blockbuster on the decline and interest in online streaming exploding, Redbox has an opportunity to grab some market share before the field gets over-crowded. More →

22 Comments