Blockbuster Throws In The Towel

- Lance Whitney | CNET

(CNET) – Blockbuster has admitted defeat in the DVD-rental business.

Parent company Dish announced Wednesday that it will shut down all of the remaining US-owned Blockbuster stores by early January 2014. The closure will affect around 300 remaining retail outlets as well as the company’s distribution centers.

The Blockbuster By Mail service will be cut off in mid-December. Only franchised and licensed stores in the US and abroad will keep their doors open.

Hurt by the rising popularity of Netflix and similar online services, Blockbuster saw its retail profits dwindle over the past few years. In January, Dish revealed plans to close 300 Blockbuster stores, according to Reuters, but at the time said it had no plans to shut down the entire business.

“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” Dish President and CEO Joseph 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.”

Going forward, Dish said it will focus on its Blockbuster On Demand streaming-video service and its Blockbuster Home service for Dish customers.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS San Francisco and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CNET contributed to this report.)

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