Dish Network and Blockbuster today announced that the long-rumored Blockbuster Movie Pass will go live on Oct. 1. The companies are positioning the subscription, which starts at $10 a month, as the industry’s first pay TV and streaming service bundle.
The Blockbuster Movie Pass can only be purchased by customers who also subscribe to Dish TV and who have a Dish Network HD DVR. The service includes: a DVD/Blu-ray rental service by mail, from an extensive library of over 100,000 titles; streaming to TV or computer; video game physical product rental by mail; unlimited in-store exchanges; and over 20 premium movie channels. Prices vary according to which mix and level of service the consumer chooses, and there are special promotional discounts on offer until the end of the year.
The streaming content library is surprisingly limited, with only 3,000 movies and “hundreds” of television shows available for TV viewing and 4,000 for PC viewing. Amazon’s Prime Service reports having more than 9,000 titles for streaming, while Netflix reports having at least 20,000 movies and TV shows, and Wal-Mart’s Vudu tops 30,000 and has just announced its inventory will grow within the next 30 days..
“With millions of Internet-enabled Dish Network set-top boxes deployed in U.S. homes and our ability to offer services from the iconic Blockbuster brand, we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the myriad of ways consumers seek access to their favorite movies, TV shows or games,” said Joe Clayton, CEO of Dish Network. “When you combine Blockbuster Movie Pass with a Dish Network subscription, you get endless entertainment options and convenient access to the content you want, when you want it. And unlike other companies, we offer the simplicity of one company, one bill and one connection.” He added that this was just the beginning of what would be offered under the Blockbuster brand in the future.
Dish acquired the troubled Blockbuster for about $310 million in April. Blockbuster still operates more than 1,500 physical storefronts and is testing having Dish sign-up opportunities in some of them.
“We’ve created a package that combines the best assets of the movie entertainment and video gaming industries with the convenience and integration provided by a multichannel video provider,” said Michael Kelly, president of Blockbuster. “Blockbuster Movie Pass is the ultimate programming package for every movie buff. The combination of DVDs by mail and unlimited in-store exchanges provides more than 100 million people living near Blockbuster stores, which are open 7 days a week, immediate satisfaction and unmatched choice.”