Alex Sherman for Bloomberg:
Dish Network Corp’s Blockbuster will begin selling mobile phones in its movie-rental stores as a test for Dish’s planned entry into the wireless business, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
This is actually the first decent idea I’ve heard involving Blockbuster in probably a decade.
Dish has closed about half of the 1,700 Blockbuster stores it acquired when it bought the company out of bankruptcy last year. When Blockbuster was owned by Viacom Inc. in 2004, it operated about 9,000 locations.
So there are now about 900 Blockbuster stores, down from 9,000 eight years ago. Insane.
This clearly won’t happen anytime soon, but I do expect it to happen eventually. The carriers have too much control — over Android, in particular. That’s Google’s own fault, but now it’s time to think outside the box. So you either acquire a wireless service (though Google’s increasingly hostile situation with antitrust regulators probably rules that out), build your own, or threaten to build your own…
Part funny. Part sad. Fully pathetic.
Here’s one great rundown of the history of this massive failure. Remember when Viacom bought them for $8.4 billion in the 90s? Then they IPO’d to raise another $5 billion? Remember when they tried to buy an also clearly failing Circuit City!?
The people running the company at the end remind me a lot of the famous old Iraqi Information Minister.
“We have them surrounded in their tanks.”