Bloomberg has reported on a rumor from “a person with direct knowledge” concerning Dish Network’s plans with the Blockbuster brand. After their acquisition of the bankrupt company last April, many were scratching their heads wondering why a satellite television company would have interest in a video rental service. This source suggests that Dish seeks to expand Blockbuster’s online on-demand offerings to support a subscription-based model much like Netflix’s Instant View or Amazon’s Prime Instant Video services.
This move would come in the wake of Netflix’s rising prices coming into effect this month and the recent news that Starz has let their contract with Netflix end due to unfulfilled demands for more licensing costs. With Blockbuster.com’s established presence in the on-demand market, the launch of a subscription arm seems a logical next step. To add insult to injury, Bloomberg’s source suggests that this new service will co-opt the scorned Starz catalog to bolster initial offerings. These two facts could make this Blockbuster not only a credible competitor to Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu but also bring them into the market much more quickly than any other company might be able.