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Dish Completes Blockbuster Acquisition

26 Apr, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

As expected, Dish Network April 26 said it has formally completed its $320 million acquisition of Dallas-based Blockbuster Inc.

“We are pleased to have purchased the assets of Blockbuster and look forward to building on the nationally recognized Blockbuster brand while improving the experience of delivering entertainment to consumers,” said Tom Cullen, EVP for Dish Network.

Dish originally thought it would consummate the transaction by April 21. It is seeking a 90-day extension from U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York to determine which, if any, of the outstanding 1,100 Blockbuster stores leases will be assumed or rejected. To date, Dish has submitted a filing indicating interest in at least 575 stores.

As part of the closing, Dish agreed to pay 75% of all outstanding studio liabilities owed by Blockbuster through three payments, beginning May 26. The agreement also mandates that studios continue supplying Blockbuster with physical and digital content when paid for in advance.

At closing there was more than $107 million in frozen studio balances outstanding from Paramount Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Summit Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video.

It is not immediately clear how the closing affects revenue-sharing monies owed Lionsgate. The minimajor filed a motion April 25 seeking reimbursement for several dozen titles.

Dish reports first-quarter results May 2.


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