DISH Network Corp. today announced that its subsidiary, Blockbuster L.L.C., will close its 300 retail stores across the United States, as well as its distribution centers.
The company will end its retail and by-mail DVD distribution operations by early January 2014.
The closures will include dozens of stores in Wisconsin.
“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” said Joseph Clayton, president and chief executive officer of Englewood, Colo.-based DISH. “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.”
The Blockbuster By Mail service will end mid-December and will serve existing customers until that time.
Over the past 18 months, Blockbuster has divested itself of assets in the United States, as well international assets, including operations in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. DISH will continue to support Blockbuster’s domestic and international franchise operations, relationships and agreements.
DISH will retain licensing rights to the Blockbuster brand and key assets, including the company’s significant video library. DISH will focus on delivering the Blockbuster @Home service to DISH customers, and on its transactional streaming service for the general market, Blockbuster On Demand.
The Blockbuster @Home service offers over 15 movie channels, including STARZ Cinema, EPIX, Sony Movie Channel, and Hallmark Movie Channel, plus over 20,000 movies and TV shows streamed to televisions, computers or iPads.