It is a sad day for fans of the old ways of renting videos. DISH Network Corporation, who acquired the rights to Blockbuster in 2011 after Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11, has announced that they are planning to close all of Blockbuster’s remaining retail locations.
The writing has truly been on the wall for quite some time. As I said before, Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in 2011, which ultimately ended with DISH Network acquiring the rights to the franchise.
In its heyday, Blockbuster operated more than 9,000 stores around the world. By 2011, they were down to a mere 2,400 stores.
In addition to the closure of its retail locations, Blockbuster will be closing down its Netflix-esque disc by mail service as well.
In a press release issued by DISH Network, Joseph P. Clayton, DISH President and CEO spoke on the necessity of the decision.
“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” said 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.”
This is something that has been coming for quite some time. Services like Netflix, who not only offer video-by-mail services like Blockbuster, but also offer a wide variety of movies and television shows online via their streaming service, have been taking over the market.
Combined with the disc-by-day offering by Redbox, who essentially conquered the kiosk business when it acquired all the contracts for the entertainment assets of their rival NCR Corporation, who operated all of the Blockbuster kiosks, the last breath of life in Blockbuster seemed to be fading fast.
Blockbuster will end its retail and by mail DVD distribution operations by early-January 2014. The actual Blockbuster-by-mail service will be ending in mid-December; however, they will continue to service customers until that time.