John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

TiVo and Blockbuster Join Farces

Blockbuster says it has big plans to grow its business. But if inking a video-on-demand deal with a declining DVR pioneer is one of them… well, that’s not much of a plan, is it?

I suppose when your financial statements look like Blockbuster’s, I suppose you cling to life however you can (Blockbuster shares have fallen about 80 percent over the last 12 months). And so, beginning in the second half of 2009, the company will make its Blockbuster On Demand service available to TiVo subscribers. The agreement also calls for Blockbuster’s brick-and-mortar stores to sell TiVo DVRs. “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,” said Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes. “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.”

For Blockbuster (BBI), the deal is a means of capitalizing on the rising popularity of on-demand video. But to really do that effectively, the company needs alliances with more electronics manufacturers than just TiVo (TIVO). After all, the DVR pioneer isn’t in the greatest of health these days. And Netflix (NLFX) already delivers online video to TiVo and PCs, Macs, Xbox 360s, and selected LG and Samsung Blu-ray players as well. Clearly, Blockbuster is as late to on-demand as it was to DVD-by-mail.


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”