Blockbuster buyout boasts free pics

Dish Network ownership offers faster rental selection

Now that it owns Blockbuster Video, Dish Network has begun promoting the company’s various rental platforms, offering customers three free months to try out Blockbuster by Mail.

Offer is available only to new subscribers of Dish’s satellite service who sign up through Aug. 10.

Either way, promo is expected to put some marketing muscle behind Blockbuster by Mail, which has tried to struggled to compete with rival Netflix.

Blockbuster’s service, which starts at $12 per month, claimed 1.2 million subs in the first quarter, compared to Netflix’s 22.8 million. During the same frame last year, Blockbuster had 1.5 million DVD-by-mail customers.

The venture, however, will be able to tout its ability to offer DVDs and Blu-rays day-and-date with their retail bows. Netflix and Redbox must currently wait 28 days before releasing those same titles. Blockbuster’s discs can also be exchanged at participating Blockbuster stores.

“Blockbuster is pleased to share the best in family entertainment with Dish Network customers,” said Michael Kelly, prexy of Blockbuster. “Dish Network has the scale and marketing power to introduce our Blockbuster By Mail service to potentially millions of new consumers while bringing a nationally known brand into their living rooms and enhancing their movie, TV show and game selection beyond the set-top box.”

Dish bought Blockbuster out of bankruptcy in April for $320 million. Dish has more than 14 million customers.

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