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Dish + Blockbuster = A 'Stream Come True'?

Here comes Dishbuster’s online-streaming service — just in time to cause another headache for Netflix, which has badly fumbled its decision to split up DVD and video-streaming services (see Netflix To Split Off DVD-By-Mail Service As ‘Qwikster’).

This Friday, Dish Network CEO Joe Clayton and Blockbuster president Michael Kelly will host a press conference at San Francisco’s Clift Hotel.

From all appearances, the event will mark the launch of their widely rumored Netflix-like streaming service. The not-so-coy title of the event: “A Stream Come True,” touting the companies’ introduction of “the most comprehensive home entertainment package ever.”

Dish initially will offer the Internet-video service exclusively to its satellite TV customers, a strategy designed to shore up its pay-TV base, Bloomberg reported. Eventually non-Dish subs will be able to sign up for Blockbuster service.

Dish bought Blockbuster’s assets for $230 million in a bankruptcy auction. The move puzzled analysts but immediately prompted speculation that Charlie Ergen would tee up a Netflix killer.

Note that Dish launched a counter-marketing effort following Netflix’s announcement in July that it would discontinue the bundled DVD-plus-streaming plans. However, Blockbuster’s DVD-by-mail service is still more expensive than Netflix’s non-Blu-ray DVD plans (see Dish Cuts Blockbuster Rates For Netflix Subs, But Still Isn’t Cheaper).


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