The Associated Press is reporting that Blockbuster is pursuing Movielink.
Blockbuster Inc. is in advanced talks to buy Movielink as a way to speed its entry into the online movie-downloading business, people familiar with the situation said.
Movie-rental giant Blockbuster would pay less than $50 million in cash and stock for Movielink, which is owned by five major studios, said one of those who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not final.
Movielink has offered movie downloads since 2002. Recent competitors include Apple Inc.’s iTunes and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
If you’ve noticed those televisions ads, Blockbuster has been trying to beat Netflix with a variation on Netflix’s business model. If this deal goes through, it will be another step in trying to maintain their significance in the home movie viewing business. As I mentioned in my column, Blockbuster used be part of the Viacom empire. I wonder if they’ll ever form a partnership with a cinema chain? After all, some restaurants have their food brands on supermarket shelves.