Warner Bros. Gives Blockbuster Advantage Over Rivals
Warner Bros. appears to have thrown a life line to Blockbuster, allowing it to continue to rent movies on the day they are released for sale, while Netflix and Red Box must wait four weeks. In the apparent belief that if Blockbuster is forced into bankruptcy, Warner Bros.' home video business would feel adverse repercussions, the studio is giving the so-called rentailer a distinct advantage over its rivals. "The studios appreciate that we are the only business that has the ability to offer cross channels," Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes told Bloomberg News. "That enables us to give consumers access to movies when they want it and where they want it." The Dow Jones News service said late Monday that although terms of the deal between the studio and Blockbuster were not disclosed, it is believed that they include a revenue-sharing partnership that will increase the number of new DVDs available in Blockbuster stores. It also said that Blockbuster will continue to be able to rent or sell movies via its Blockbuster on Demand online service on the same day they are available in the stores.