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Dish Gives up on Blockbuster Netflix Killer
Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing
by Karl Bode 09:15AM Friday Oct 05 2012
Dish's plan to use the acquired Blockbuster brand as the cornerstone of a Netflix killer appears to have ground to a halt. In April of last year Dish shelled out $320 million for the Blockbuster brand and after significant hype, last September launched their "new" Blockbuster service that was little more than Blockbuster's existing, underwhelming services with a coat of Dish public relations paint. It was also only offered to Dish users.

Roughly a year later and now Dish is saying that they're giving up on their plans to turn the service into a Netflix rival. Dish appears to be blaming the FCC for blocking their desired LTE waiver:
The plans broke down when U.S. regulators didn’t immediately approve a waiver allowing Dish to use its satellite spectrum for terrestrial data and voice transmission. “You make a lot of mistakes in business,” Ergen, Dish’s founder and chairman, said in an Oct. 3 interview. “I don’t think Blockbuster is going to be a mistake, but it’s unclear if that’s going to be a transformative "There was very little risk in buying," Ergen said. “Worst case we break even or make a little bit of money.”
Back in March the FCC delayed a waiver decision that would allow Dish to ignore some of the satellite phone requirements placed on the spectrum they plan to use. It's not as disastrous as Dish is suggesting since the LTE Advanced S-band spectrum Dish plans to use likely won't even be available until 2015 anyway. The failure to deliver a Netflix competitor has less to do with regulators, and more to do with an apparent lack of vision and ambition if last fall's offering is any indication.

It won't be a loss for Dish however, as the company can still make a profit simply by closing and selling remaining existing brick and mortar Blockbuster stores.

topics flat nest 

Schenectady, NY

What do you expect?

They only let Dish Subscribers take advantage of it.
I was actually interested in trying it out, but I'm not signing a 2 year contract with Dish Network to have the "privilege" to pay for the service.



Re: What do you expect?

why dont blockbuster try to get on huluplus tv!!

Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Mount Airy, MD


Isn't Blockbuster dead? How can it kill anything?

I live in a van down by the river.
Sugar Land, TX

Re: Blockbuster?

said by pnh102:

Isn't Blockbuster dead? How can it kill anything?

Thats what I thought, but one of the two Blockbuster locations here is some how still open.
MNSi Internet

Windsor, ON

Re: Blockbuster?

said by ilikeme:

said by pnh102:

Isn't Blockbuster dead? How can it kill anything?

Thats what I thought, but one of the two Blockbuster locations here is some how still open.

They didn't get the memo.
MNSi Internet - »www.mnsi.net

Jason Levine
Zombie Blockbuster!
-Jason Levine

Corry, PA

Re: Blockbuster?

said by Jason Levine:

Zombie Blockbuster!



Brooklyn, NY
I'm still enjoying it - it's cheaper than Netflix and a lot less anal about how many discs we have out and their customer service is LOT NICER than Netflix...

...Ergen is a retard: what kind of a "Netflix-competing" service is when I WOULD NEED TO SWITCH TO HIS FUCKIN' JUNK SATELLITE TV in order to stream movies from Blockbuster?

Ergen is a STUPID ARROGANT OLD IDIOT, needs to fuckin' retire, clueless old fart.

My only concern is if this fucktard kills my mail-based Blu-Ray service...
said by bicker:

Waaaa waaaa waaaa. You just want what you want and don't care to factor in what is right or true. Your perspectives are un-American, and deserve far more ridicule than I'm prepared to pile on them.



Re: Blockbuster?

I totally agree that Ergen is a clueless moron. However, it isn't because he is old. I am his age, and am nothing like that. Some of us old farts are okay dudes.

Whoops, there goes another AMU
Fayetteville, NY

Blockbuster only for shipped discs

I am a Dish customer and have been using this Blockbuster service only for DVDs and Blu-Rays shipped directly to my home.

In my experience I gave up on their streaming service way back at the beginning. The interface for locating and choosing movies was just horrible, especially after I was spoiled by Netflix's much cleaner and user-friendly interface.

If there were one area where Dish needed to spend money, it was in a significant overhaul of that interface.

Hopefully Dish keeps the disc-to-home service, because it is a viable alternative to Netflix's comparable offering.

Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Mentor, OH

Re: Blockbuster only for shipped discs

I agree. Though as a Dish/Blockbuster subscriber, we weren't allowed access to Blockbuster streams. Though we could goto www.dishonline.com and stream anything that we subscribed to through Dish. But all Dish online is, is a reskinned Hulu [or so it feels].

So all we get are DVDs and games from the Blockbuster mail service.
Before I was paying for gamefly/netflix. Gamefly is 16 bucks a month, long turn around time.
Now I get blockbuster/netflix. Blockbuster through dish 10 bucks a month, better turn around then gamefly and I can get movies or games.
Is a person a failure for doing nothing? Or is he a failure for trying, and not succeeding at what he is attempting to do? What did you fail at today?.


Brooklyn, NY
FULLY AGREED - Ergen has no fuckin clue about this whatsoever, I hope he keeps his stupid old shaky hands off of my mail-based service.

For shipped Blu-Rays and DVDs Blockbuster is GREAT, much nicer than Netflix.


Phoenix, AZ

Kiosks not going away?

I presume that means what few kiosks they have out and about would not be going away. It seems the only place I see them is Safeway. Redbox seems to be mandatory for all Circle Ks and Wallgreens in my area.



Re: Kiosks not going away?

Retail kiosk business was started by NCR, and was recently sold to Redbox. Not sure how long the Blockbuster name will be used.


Re: Kiosks not going away?

The only Blockbuster kiosk near me was replaced with a Redbox kiosk a month or 2 ago.


Royal Oak, MI

Dish Customer

I'm a Dish customer who has the BB@Home package and for me it's been pretty good. Not only do I get 21 extra channels, but I also get 1 disc out at a time. And since I live near a BBV store, I'm averaging 2 discs per week. Since BB@Home has a channel from Encore and a channel from Starz, I can get all of the shows/movies that Starz/Encore/Plex has available from On Demand and Dish Online without paying for a Starz or Encore package. All for $10 extra.

Now the cons. The streaming part of the package probably has one of the worst interfaces you could think of with not a lot of choices. And you have to be a Dish subscriber to even be able to get streaming because Blockbuster is basically the name for Dish Networks very weak On Demand option. And if you don't live near a BBV store, then you're only going to get one disc per week because of turn around times. Plus BB Online doesn't have anywhere near the selection of discs that Netflix has.

It's good for what it is. But it never could compete with Netflix. That's probably why Dish never made the entire package available to non-satellite subscribers in the first place. And now they've decided not to upgrade to directly compete with Netflix. I wonder if all of their legal disputes is making them leery of spending money they may not have in the near future?

Fairfax, VA

Re: Dish Customer

I too am a Dish customer w/BB@home, and mogamer is right on all counts.

Seminole, FL


The best thing about Blockbuster was the kiosks but those were not even run by Blockbuster it was only a licensing deal. Dish should of just acquired them instead.

Homestead, FL

Re: kiosks

Down here in South Florida all of the Publix supermarkets have replaced Blockbuster machines with Redbox's in the last month or so...

Royal Oak, MI

Re: kiosks

said by flycuban:

Down here in South Florida all of the Publix supermarkets have replaced Blockbuster machines with Redbox's in the last month or so...

That's because Redbox ended up buying all of those BB kiosks.

Parker, CO

Misreading of the news

I believe this recap misses what Ergen was saying. What he was saying is that he wanted to use the Blockbuster locations as retail distribution for a wireless data play. But, since the FCC has delayed his waivers, that he cannot bank on that occuring.

Now, I think this is all BS in any event. Charlie is a master poker player. He is setting up his excuse for selling the spectrum to ATT and/or Verizon the same as Cox and the other cable companies did.


Lancaster, OH

Dish and the Darwin

LOL, Dish was too stupid to know they couldn't use the Blockbuster name to create additional customers because the Blockbuster name is synonymous with "screw the customer".

Ignore Button. The coward's feature.
Mentor, OH

As a user of Dish's blockbuster service.

It is ok.
There was no streaming at the level we were at. Sure we could goto Dishonline and stream, but we couldn't stream from Blockbuster. That would have cost extra.
So we got DVDs in the mail for 10 extra bucks a month. Which is fine.
Because with Dish/Blockbuster 10 Bucks a month got you video and games. I used to use gamefly for games only at 16 bucks a month. So by going Dish we saved 6 bucks.
IMO, they could have chaged a tad bit more, and opened access to Blockbusters streaming content. Then we might have killed out netflix account.
But they didn't so we didn't.
Is a person a failure for doing nothing? Or is he a failure for trying, and not succeeding at what he is attempting to do? What did you fail at today?.

Romulus, MI

Not to bad

My sister has the service. She has the hopper and she can steam from that. She likes getting the Disks in the mail because she can drop them off at a blockbuster store and exchange them.
Mr. Donut

Rancho Santa Fe, CA
·Pacific Bell - SBC

What's left to like about Blockbuster?

First Blockbuster bought out the company that owned my favorite local video store in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Then they stopped renting adult videos.

Then they closed their local store.

Then they quietly slowed the processing of their renting of discs by mail to the point where "two at a time" results in my receipt of no more than 10 discs per month. And approximately 1 in 10 of the disks received are the wrong title, duplicates to discs already sent and still in my possession, or damaged.

And then they removed support from their On Demand streaming video service for all home entertainment devices, except for specific devices manufactured by Samsung. The use of my TiVo Premiere, LG Blu-ray player, Panasonic Blu-ray player, to access those services was terminated in an instant, and without any advanced warning or notification.

Good-bye, and good riddance to Blockbuster.