Dish Network (nee Blockbuster) Planning to Compete with Netflix
With Amazon making some waves this week with their new streaming deals with NBCUniversal and CBS/Paramount, an interview with Joe Clayton, chief executive at Dish Network, indicates that they are prepping their own entry into the streaming arena.
As you'll recall, Dish Network paid $320 million to acquire bankrupt Blockbuster. People were wondering why Dish would buy Blockbuster. Back then, I speculated that this was a media play and it looks like I was right.
While Blockbuster has an existing streaming platform and deals in place with the studios, they currently only offer PPV rentals and stream-to-own options. But, depending on how their current rights are structured, it would not be a huge stretch for them to begin offering a monthly streaming service similar to Netflix and Amazon.
The difference though is that Blockbuster's streaming rights include more recent releases (on a PPV basis), so that would be something they could offer that competitors currently lack.
The interview also has some interesting comments about using Blockbuster's retail stores to promote Dish/Blockbuster's streaming and wireless platforms, and possibly serve as space for consumer electronics.
As for the rental chain's stores, the plan is to keep 1,500 of the 1,700 outlets open. But Clayton is not deluding himself that the traditional DVD rental market is going to make a comeback. He sees the stores as not only DVD rental and sales outlets but also as a promotional platform for Dish and the Blockbuster streaming service, as well as whatever wireless business the company pursues. He doesn't rule out selling consumer electronics at the chain either, an approach known as a store within a store that has proved successful for RadioShack Corp.
Blockbuster's stores might not have much life left, but it seems that Dish Network for now will keep them around.
Wooch's Home Theater 2.0 (Pics)
Panasonic VIERA TH-C50FD18 50" 1080p
Paradigm Reference Studio 40, CC, and 20 v.2
Adire Audio Rava (EQ: Behringer Feedback Destroyer DSP1124)
Dual CS5000 (Ortofon OM30 Super)
Denon DVD-758 (DVD-1940ci)
Sony Playstation 3 (MediaLink OS X Server)
Sony ES SCD-C2000ES
Oppo Digital HM-31
Logitech Harmony 650
One way Dish network can steal customers from Cable and DirectTV would be to offer its customers free streaming option if they they susbcribe to certain packages. Or free streaming as an incentive for new customers.