It’s the end of an era: Dish announced today that its subsidiary, Blockbuster L.L.C., will end both its retail and its mail DVD distribution operations by early January 2014.
“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” DISH’s president and chief executive officer Joseph P. Clayton said in a statement. “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.”
According to a release, Blockbuster By Mail service will cease in mid-December 2013, and will continue serving existing customers until that time. The company will close its remaining domestic retail stores — some 300 locations altogether — as well as its distribution centers by early next year.
Dish says that it will retain the brand’s licensing rights and key assets, including Blockbuster’s “significant video library.” Both Dish’s Blockbuster @Home service, which offers a package of over 15 movie channels, and Blockbuster On Demand streaming video will also continue to exist. As the mission statement on Blockbuster’s new website puts it: “You’ve known us for years, but who are we now? Well, we’re different. We’ve grown. We’ve changed. Still, one thing has remained the same: We love movies. And now we’re taking that love to the next level.”