The Blockbuster brand will soon be back on UK high streets and streaming into our living rooms.
Back in mid-December, all remaining Blockbuster stores closed their doors for the last time. Following the its second period of administration of 2013 (the first came in January), a buyer was unable to be found for the former video rental great, and the brand ceased to exist.
Except, it didn’t. Not entirely. Dish Network Corporation, which retains ownership of the Blockbuster brand, has now licensed it out to Crash Entertainment Group. Crash owns a number of UK online radio stations as well as five entertainment stores on the Isle of Man.
Crash intends to open 10 new Blockbuster stores in the UK and rebrand its existing Isle of Man shops with the venerable old name. It’s a far cry from the hundreds of Blockbuster stores that used to operate around the country, but such a physical presence doesn’t appear to be the main thrust of the new business.
Crash plans to start a new Blockbuster mail-order DVD subscription service by late 2014. The company will also operate the Blockbuster On Demand video streaming service, which runs on Virgin Media’s TiVo boxes.
“Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business,” says Dish boss Joseph P. Clayton, “we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings.”
Update: Virgin Media have been in touch to deny claims that the company has plans to work with Blockbuster stating that they “are not in discussions about a service from Blockbuster.”
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