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Blockbuster Severs Enron VOD Relationship

A little more than three months after launching video-on-demand trials in
four cities, Blockbuster Inc. and Enron Broadband Services have decided to part

Blockbuster, a unit of Viacom Inc., said Friday that it has terminated its
exclusive agreement with Enron, adding that it will move forward on its own
entertainment on-demand service. Enron officials weren't immediately available
for comment.

Blockbuster's plan moving forward 'is to remain technology-agnostic and open
to all sorts of alliances,' Blockbuster chairman and CEO John Antioco said in a

In December, Enron and Blockbuster began a limited technical VOD trial over
digital subscriber lines in Seattle; Portland, Ore.; New York; and American
Fork, Utah. The companies are using Motorola Inc. 'Streammaster' set-tops and
nCUBE servers for the pilot. Blockbuster insisted that it will see the trial
through with Enron.

'We continue to believe VOD will eventually become a commercial reality and
Blockbuster will have a formidable presence in this arena,' Antioco said.
'However, we also believe there will be multiple technologies that make this
service available in the home.'

Those technologies and services include satellite, pay-per-view, near-VOD and
DVD rentals, the company said.