Dish-Blockbuster Deal a ‘Stream Come True’ Only for Existing Customers

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For those expecting Dish Network to roll out a Netflix competitor during today’s “A Stream Come True” press conference, the announcement of the company’s “Blockbuster Movie Pass” offering will come as a disappointment.

Instead of being a streaming or rental service for the general public, the new offering is available only to Dish Network customers, with DVD rental and streaming content to televisions and computers being put together in a $10 per month additional package for existing subscribers. It’s also a $39.99 monthly package inclusive of 200 channels for new customers.

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Being promoted with the slogan “One Company, One Bill, One Connection,” the Blockbuster Movie Pass was described as “just the beginning” of Dish exploiting the Blockbuster brand by CEO Joe Clayton. The package will offer 100,000 movie and television titles by mail (as well as 3,000 games), with 4,000 titles available for streaming to computers and 3,000 direct to televisions; “unlimited in-store exchanges” will also be part of the package.

The package does not cover streaming content to mobile devices. During questions at the press conference, it was confirmed that only PCs and Macs will be able to access streamed content at launch, with upgrades planned. Similarly, although in-store exchanges were called “unlimited,” only one disc will be allowed at a time (although Dish will offer 2 discs for 15 dollars and 3 discs for 20 dollars), and it will require a mailed DVD rental to be returned to the store before in-store rental is allowed.

For non-Dish customers, Blockbuster President Michael Kelly told the audience that “We’re continuing to work on a streaming service” for non-customers, but nothing is ready to announce at this time. “As we used to say in the broadcast TV business,” Dish DEO Joe Clayton added, “stay tuned.”

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Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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