Blockbuster Divestitures

As part of an ongoing effort to get lean and streamline its business ventures, Blockbuster Inc., the leading movie rental chain, sold its UK game retail unit, Game Station, to the British-based Game Group plc for $150m in cash. In a statement, Blockbuster CEO John Antioco said the sale "underscores our intent to focus on our Blockbuster-branded assets in North America in support of our goal to grow our overall share of the video rental market, both in-store and online."  This announcement follows several other similar divestitures.  In 2006, Blockbuster sold its Movie Trading Co. locations and Movie Brands Inc. subsidiary, and sold its Taiwan subsidiary. Blockbuster has also sold its U.S.-based Rhino Video Games.  While much of the sale’s proceeds are earmarked to pay down debt, there is little doubt the company wants more free cash flow available for the heavy toll of marketing expenses it’s been taking in its all-out war with Netflix.

Joost Broadcasting

Last week IPTV company Joost announced it had signed up 32 companies including Coca-Cola, Nike, Purina, HP, Intel, Taco Bell, Lions Gate and others to advertise on their soon to be released service.  Today,  Joost announced its commercial launch.  

Though the service is proclaimed to be widely available, access is limited to people who receive an invitation from friends and affiliates (similar to what was done with Gmail, though Google called that offering a beta test).  That marketing tactic is a little risky.  On the one hand, it will allow the company some measure of controlled growth and  protect against initial traffic “bursts” that could theoretical impair their  offering.  The marketing gimcick may also create an artificial sense of exclusivity and community.  On the other hand, the tactic could alienate potential users and impair growth.

Joost, which was previously called The Venice Project (prior article can be found here), promises more than 150 channels of broadcast quality programming served on an IPTV peer to peer platform that is ad-supported.   Click to Read More

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