The Washington Post

Buy your next smartphone at…Blockbuster?

With streaming media websites like Netflix and iTunes virtually wiping out Main Street’s DVD rental stores, Dish Network has found an alternative use for Blockbuster, the chain it acquired last year.

Blockbuster revealed Wednesday that it will begin stocking mobile phones, as well as DVDs, in its brick-and-mortar stores around the country. The phones are already available for purchase online.

Is it just me, or are Blockbuster store sightings more difficult to scout out than a Spotted Owl? Dish has already closed about half of the 1,700 Blockbuster stores it acquired when it bought the company out of bankruptcy.

For Dish, the announcement is a long-time coming. Executives announced their intention to sell mobile phones from Blockbuster stores when the acquisition was finalized in April, 2011.

Dish reportedly plans to begin selling mobile phones out of stores under the name “Blockbuster Mobile.” Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile and other carriers have already signed on as partners. According to Bloomberg, the move may be a prelude to Dish launching its own mobile phone service — it is already looking for potential partners.

Dish recently acquired numerous wireless airwaves, and is awaiting word from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about how it can use them.

Copyright 2012, VentureBeat

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