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Dish buys Blockbuster for $320 million

updated 07:30 am EDT, Wed April 6, 2011

Dish snaps up Blockbuster for 320m

Dish said Wednesday that it had won an auction to buy Blockbuster. The satellite TV provider said it had offered $320 million, about $228 million of which was in cash, to beat out competitors like investor Carl Icahn and SK Telecom. Bids had gotten as high as $310.6 million, from Icahn, before Dish landed the final price.

The victory still required approval at bankruptcy court on Thursday. Any deal if approved should be completed before the end of the spring.

Dish didn't outline its exact plans for Blockbuster but said the struggling video rental chain gave "cross-marketing and service extension opportunities" that would bolster its existing TV service. Earlier speculation had raised the prospects of Dish being sold at remaining Blockbuster stores as well as the chain being used as leverage to score major content deals. The deal also gives Dish control of Blockbuster's Internet video service and puts it into the online arena.

Blockbuster will have managed to command a slight premium over the minimum $290 million bid it set for the auction but is still facing the end to one of the bleaker chapters in its history. The company was effectively destroyed by competition from Netflix, a firm it had the chance to buy in 2000, and has had only limited success in online video. Netflix currently owns 61 percent of online video where smaller, pay-per-title services like iTunes still have significantly larger share than Blockbuster.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Dish said Wednesday that it had won an auction to buy Blockbuster."

    I always knew Blockbuster would end up on eBay one day.

  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Got an Apple TV

    I received, as a gift, an Apple TV shortly after the original came out. We have not set foot in a video rental store since. I'm betting I'm not alone by a long shot.

    So much for the defenders of Blu-ray and their blathering about audio and video quality vs. streaming over the internet. Blu-ray players will soon be in the same category as the $20,000 turntables sitting on solid granite pedestals that some weirdos have, the radical element of technology.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flushing another one

    I used to have a gold card from Blockbuster. You get those by renting more than 125 movies a year. But as more people bought DVD releases would always be out of stock...discs you'd rent looked like someone dragged them behind their car. I'd had enough.

    But I'm wondering if DISH will flush Blockbuster down the toilet like they did when they bought Slingbox.

  1. macnews1

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Dish really?

    I think this is an almost last ditch effort by another company likely to be in the same place as Blockbuster. I think Dish is hoping this buy will keep them alive longer. This isn't a dig against Dish, rather all sat and cable TV. More and more this is all moving to online. I got rid of Dish just last month because I can't afford nor stand the continued rate increases and much like credit cards have tired of the moving-to-a-new-provider-to-get-the-new-customer-deal. Been there, done that with cable, DirecTV and now Dish. Fact is, I can pay for netflicks and hulu and get 99% of the shows I used to watch on cable for much less. Don't have DVR to skip commercials but don't mind sitting through a few since the bigger thing is being able to watch a show when I want to not when some network says I have to.

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