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January 13, 2012

Dish Network Announces They Will Close More Blockbuster Stores Than Originally Thought

When Dish Network purchased Blockbuster in a bankruptcy auction, it seemed to most insiders that the company had some big plans to integrate the movie rental chain into its satellite broadcasting network. Now it appears that the company either never had any plans like that, or has decided that Blockbuster’s business model is in even bigger trouble than they originally thought.

For its part, Dish had a pretty good 2011 and it is looking to start 2012 off with a bang. This week at CES (News - Alert), the company announced a new DVR box that would be one of, if not the most powerful DVR box on the market from any company. The Hopper will actually allow a user to record as many as six channels at a time, and replay the recordings on any television in the house that is outfitted with a smaller receiver known as a Joey.

Perhaps it is the increased revenues and customers the company is expecting that has led it to the decision to begin shutting down even more Blockbuster stores in 2012. Dish CEO Joe Clayton told Reuters that his company will actually be closing down more Blockbusters than they originally anticipated. Some of those closed stores will actually be converted to Dish Network customer service hubs.

Dish paid $320 million for Blockbuster and announced at the time that 90 percent of the stores would stay in operation. That would roughly mean that 15,000 employees got to keep their jobs. It appears that the market has been unkind to Blockbuster to a degree that Clayton didn’t foresee when he made the purchase. The CEO says he still wants to keep the Blockbuster chain going but, “there are ones that aren't going to make it. We will close unprofitable stores. We will close additional stores.”

Clayton was remiss to say when these additional closings would happen and only remarked that some stores were not turning a profit. The Dish chief would not say which stores the company was planning on closing, but that they were looking at each potential closing on a “case by case basis.”

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Edited by Jennifer Russell

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