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Hear the ‘Dish,’ Get Free Blockbuster Movies, Games

17 Oct, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Since launching Blockbuster Movie Pass Oct. 1, parent Dish Network Corp. has quietly assembled lounge areas in a number of its highest-traffic stores to sell the marriage between the satellite pay-TV platform and Blockbuster movie rentals.

Walk into a select Blockbuster store and you might find a 52-inch flat-screen TV in the middle with lounge chairs in front buttressed by signage proclaiming the area ground zero for one-stop home entertainment. For a limited time, consumers who come in and listen to the pitch for the Dish subscription TV packages, starting from $19.99 a month to $49.99 a month, receive a free month of Blockbuster By Mail service without obligation.

That means a consumer who makes an honest effort to listen to the pitch from a qualified sales representative will receive access a free movie or video game rental that day and access to Blockbuster By Mail for 30 days.

“You set up an appointment with one of our representatives and they give you the whole run down, give you all the information and they can sign you up for a free membership,” said an employee at a Blockbuster store in Foothill Ranch, Calif.

Consumer traffic at the store on the evening of Oct. 15 was relatively heavy (there is a Redbox across the parking lot at Ralphs), as a store manager pitched the Dish campaign to two men in the lounge while couples and families circled the store in search of rentals. Indeed, store traffic is up 100% since Dish acquired Blockbuster last spring, Blockbuster president Michael Kelly said in the Movie Pass press conference earlier this month.

A father and his young boys said he was there because the movies cost 99 cents (actually $1.99 for the first day; 99-cents a day thereafter), and he liked going to the video store.

“It’s easier with the kids,” the man said, adding that he also uses Redbox on occasion.

Another man perusing the outer walls of the store said the layout of DVDs and Blu-ray made looking for a movie much easier than searching screens on a kiosk.

“It’s all right here,” he said. “It’s a no-brainer.”

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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