With Netflix currently exploring a strategy adopted from your crazy, passive-aggressive ex-girlfriend, repeatedly pushing its customers further and further away to make them prove that they really love it, the time seems right for some other service to sidle up and catch their eye, simply by coming off as way more stable. So enter Dish Network’s Blockbuster Movie Pass, the long-rumored streaming service bundle that everyone assumed was coming back when Dish saved the once-untouchable video chain from total bankruptcy. The $10-per-month bundle provides Dish customers with Blockbuster DVDs and games by mail—which are also exchangeable at Blockbuster stores, where you can talk to sweaty, angry 17-year-old clerks and get some Sour Patch Kids—plus streaming movies and TV shows, all easily accessible through their current Dish set-top box.
Of course, there are some caveats that make Blockbuster Movie Pass less the “Netflix-killer” some have touted it as: For one thing, Blockbuster’s streaming library of around 15,000 titles doesn’t come anywhere close to Netflix’s even-somewhat-paltry (and constantly shrinking) selection of around 100,000. And for another, more obvious reason, it’s only available to Dish subscribers, which, screw that. However, the company reportedly hinted at eventually turning Movie Pass into a standalone service, which suggests that—between this and its forthcoming Facebook app for renting and streaming movies on the site—it could soon become a far more serious contender. A panicked Netflix responded by demanding that its tech team immediately come up with at least three more websites.
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