DENVER — Blockbuster, the video rental chain that’s been pummeled by the rise of digital and on-demand entertainment, said it will close its 300 remaining U.S. stores by early January.
The Blockbuster By Mail service will end in mid-December.
Blockbuster’s current owner, DISH Network Corp., will keep the licensing rights to the Blockbuster brand and its video library. DISH said it will focus on the Blockbuster streaming and on-demand services currently offered to customers.
“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” said DISH President and CEO Joseph P. Clayton. “Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings.”
Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in September 2010, with $1 billion in assets and $1.46 billion in debt, according to Bloomberg. It was purchased by DISH in a bankruptcy auction for $320 million the next year, as a way for the satelitte TV provider to expand its offerings and compete against Netflix.
From the Chicago Times