A last-minute extension request to decide the fate of over 1,700 Blockbuster locations on the hook after DISH Network’s abrupt $320 million buy-out of the beleaguered company may now be moot. A new court document indicates only 600 or so locations will make the cut. Around 1,100 Blockbuster stores will not have their leases renewed.
Home Media Magazine reported Monday on the upcoming mass exodus of both storefronts and jobs, citing a weekend filing that claimed around 50% of outstanding leases would not be renewed.
The closure of over 1,100 Blockbusters will likely cost thousands of jobs, but considering DISH Network’s intent to leverage the company’s past glory for future success (and the mammoth pricetag attached to the acquisition), such a drastic step may not seem so out-of-left-field.
Many believe DISH Network could make a push against Netflix in the future with its own streaming VOD service to rival the current market leader’s. Considering Netflix’s recent issues with content providers, a new service that works out those kinks and marries the proven DVD rental model may be just what irritated subscribers want.
However, competing with (and defeating) Netflix may prove more difficult than expected. The company is now moving forward with its own original content, which, if successful, would keep it one step ahead of others just entering the streaming video arena.
For now, Blockbuster remains a company in transition as DISH Network plots out a new course.