Dish Networks and Blockbuster introduced a new media bundle of services, CNET reported, that will let Dish subscribers access to streaming movies, and DVDs, Blu-Ray discs and games by mail, for $10 additional per month.
Called Movie Pass, the report said, the new service will be available to Dish subscribers from Oct. 1, and new customers who opt for Dish’s $40 per month America’s Top 200 package will get a year of free access. An all-in-one package is likely to be popular among consumers looking for convenience.
The move puts the companies in a good position to challenge Netflix, which recently announced it was planning an unpopular split of its DVD and streaming services. Don’t count Netflix out quite yet, however. The company still has a sizable user base and the requirement that users be Dish customers puts the Blockbuster service at a serious disadvantage, even if Netflix is facing a somewhat uncertain future.
Analysts have disagreed about why Netflix cut itself in half. A recent note from Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter speculated that the company is trying to make itself more palatable to Amazon, who would not be as interested in the expensive DVD service, CNET reported.
The online retail giant would be in a good position to buy the company, he said.
On the other hand, said MSN’s Kim Peterson, the company would be incredibly expensive to purchase, particularly if it keeps losing customers. Between licensing costs and those projected losses, it may not look like such a tasty pickup after all.