With its lingering debt problems resolved for now, Blockbuster is pinning some of its hopes on a digital future.
The struggling video rental chain will announce a partnership with TiVo on Wednesday to deliver Blockbuster’s digital movie library over the Internet directly to the televisions of people with TiVo digital video recorders.
As with similar deals TiVo has struck to make digital video services from Amazon and Netflix accessible from its set-top boxes, no money will change hands between the companies. But Blockbuster also said it would sell TiVos at many of its 4,000 stores in the United States, taking a typical retailer’s cut of sales. The two companies plan a joint marketing campaign to promote the new service, which will start in the second half of the year.
“We are excited to be teaming with TiVo, the company that created the DVR, to make Blockbuster’s entertainment content readily available to their millions of subscribers,” Jim Keyes, chief executive of Blockbuster, said in a statement. “Ultimately, our vision is to work with TiVo so that their subscribers can access movies not only through our On Demand service but also from our stores and through our by-mail service as well.”
But why would I want to go to your store if I can sit on my couch and download the movie ?