September 23, 2011, 5:11 PM

Blockbuster takes on Netflix with a new bundled package

Blockbuster Movie Pass will include a streaming movie service.

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Blockbuster L.L.C., now a part of Dish Network Corp., wants to take even more advantage over the discontent many long time subscribers have with Netflix Inc.

Beginning Oct. 1, Blockbuster, No. 42 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 is rolling out Blockbuster Movie Pass, a new bundled program that includes a streaming movie service, DVD, Blu-ray and video game mail program, and access to more than 20 premium movie channels.

The deal coincides with offerings from Dish Network’s other subsidiary, Dish Network L.L.C., which provide satellite TV services to consumers.

For existing Dish Network L.L.C. subscribers, pricing for Movie Pass will begin at $10 per month. For subscribers that sign up the Dish Network premium TV package Movie Pass will be available free for three months. New Dish Network subscribers will receive Movie Pass free for the first year.

“With millions of Internet-enabled DISH Network set-top boxes deployed in U.S. homes and our ability to offer services from the iconic Blockbuster brand, we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the myriad of ways consumers seek access to their favorite movies, TV shows or games,” says Dish Network CEO Joe Clayton.

Blockbuster hopes to gain customers unhappy with recent changes at Netflix. On Monday Netflix formally split its business model, rebranded its DVD-by-mail business and named a new CEO to run that operation. In a corporate blog post Monday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced that the company will rename its DVD-by-mail operation as Qwikster. It will retain the Netflix name for its digital streaming business. Andrew Rendich, who joined Netflix in 2007 and most recently served as chief service and operations officer, will lead the Quikster unit as CEO.

In July, Netflix said it was eliminating a combination DVD-by-mail and unlimited streaming rental plan priced at $9.99 in favor of offering consumers the option to subscribe to either format for $7.99 each. If customers want DVDs by mail and streaming, they now have to subscribe to both and pay a minimum of $15.98 per month to have one DVD checked out at a time and access to unlimited streaming. With the split into Quikster and Netflix, consumers who subscribe to both mail and streaming services will still pay the same total price for their plans, but see two entries, one from Netflix and one from Quikster, on their billing statements.

 

 

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