Dish Network to unveil Blockbuster streaming video service Friday

Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) plans to unveil a new streaming video service anchored by its recently acquired Blockbuster brand on Friday.

The satellite TV provider, which acquired Blockbuster last April, invited reporters to attend an event titled "A stream come true," in San Francisco at 10 a.m. PT. Dish Network spokesman Marc Lumpkin on Monday declined to discuss how Dish will price the Blockbuster streaming service, or how it may be marketed to non-Dish subscribers, noting that Dish will share details at the event on Friday.

Dish could challenge Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) with its streaming video service, especially if it undercuts Netflix subscription prices, which begin at $7.98 monthly. But it's only been five months since Dish acquired Blockbuster through a bankruptcy auction, and it hasn't had much time to build a broad streaming video library that could compete with Netflix's library of more than 20,000 titles.

"We think that there's an opportunity for us with the by-mail (DVD) business, an opportunity to break into the digital business a little bit heavier, and there's a tremendous brand there as well," Michael Kelly, who oversees the Blockbuster brand for Dish, told analysts in May. "We think there might be synergies back with Dish Network's business. We're not sure yet," he added.

In August, Dish EVP of corporate development Thomas Cullen said that the company was dedicating more resources to develop a streaming video product under the Blockbuster brand. "We have expanded the dedicated team on the Blockbuster digital side and have invested resources in enhancing the digital platform, which I think is key to us in the long term," Cullen said on Dish's second-quarter earnings call.

For more:
- Bloomberg has this story

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