Dish Network's Blockbuster Moves to Poach Angry Netflix Customers

Netflix Points Out its One-DVD-at-a-Time Plan is Still Cheaper

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Blockbuster, bought out of bankruptcy by Dish Network, is trying to poach customers unhappy with Netflix's decision to separate its pricing plans into more expensive tiers.

Netflix customers who switch to Blockbuster by Sept. 15 will receive a 30-day free trial, and pay $9.99 a month after that for one disc at a time, or $14.99 for two, Michael Kelly, president of Blockbuster, said in an emailed statement.

Steve Swasey, a Netflix spokesman, said consumers would pay more for the same service under Blockbuster's offer. "Why would someone do that when Netflix provides a free 30-day trial to new customers, and one DVD out at a time for $7.99 a month?" Mr. Swasey said. "Competition is to be expected, but there's still no greater convenience, selection and value than Netflix."

Netflix, citing the costs to acquire and deliver films and TV shows, said July 12 that it was shedding its $9.99-a-month package of DVD-by -mail and unlimited streaming for U.S. customers. Starting Sept. 1 the services would be split into two, costing $7.99 each or $15.98 for both. A new two-DVD-at-a-time plan, with no streaming, costs $11.99.

Blockbuster, which does not offer a streaming service, said its package adds more value because customers do not have to wait 28 days to see some new releases as they do with Netflix under its deals with several Hollywood studios.

Blockbuster also offers unlimited in-store exchanges, videogame rentals and no additional charges for Blu-ray rentals, the company said.

-- Bloomberg News --

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