We've Got Hollywood Covered

Dish Unveils Blockbuster Movie Pass — Are You Sweating Yet, Netflix?

CEO Joe Clayton says it boasts 100K movies and shows by mail and nearly 4K films via streaming

Dish Network on Friday unveiled its much-hyped streaming challenge to Netflix, called Blockbuster Movie Pass. 

The new service boasts a bundled package of DVD by mail rentals and online video, but customers have to sign up for the satellite provider to access the product. 

The announcement was made at San Francisco's Clift Hotel by Dish CEO Joe Clayton and Blockbuster CEO Michael Kelly. 

Clayton said the service offers 100,000 movies and TV shows for rental by mail, 4,000 movies via streaming, and more than 3,000 games by mail.

Among the streaming partners are Fox, Discovery, Epix, MGM, Sundance and TBS.

Also read: Netflix's Qwikster Move: Hard-Headed Business, Not Greed

The new program rolls out Oct. 1. 

"One company, one bill, one connection for everything you need in video entertainment," Clayton said. 

The service will cost $10 a month for existing Dish subscribers. It is free for customers who sign up for Dish's $39.99 a month package. 

The move comes the same week that Netflix uncoupled its DVD by mail service from its streaming platform, launching the much maligned Qwikster. 

The nearly 40-minute presentation contained slightly masked knocks on Netflix's move. Executives pressed the point that unlike with the subscription rival, customers won't have to sign up for separate DVD by mail and streaming accounts. 

Under Netflix's new plan, subscribers will now have to access and pay for the two services via two distinct websites. 

"We’re totally focused on needs of our consumers and vulnerabilities of our competition," Clayton said, in thinly veiled fashion. 

However, Dish's decision not to offer Blockbuster Movie Pass as a stand-alone service and instead integrate it into its satellite plan, will disappoint those looking for a true Netflix challenger. 

Dish, which snapped the bankrupt Blockbuster at auction last spring for $320 million, was believed to be primarily interested in using the brand to expand its online video offerings. 

Though thousands of Blockbuster stores have been shuttered, there are still 1,500 locations in the the United States and 1,500 internationally. Dish has tried to attract customers back to the stores by offering 99 cent rentals. 

This is not Blockbuster's first online venture. The video rental chain's CinemaNow services requires no subscription, but the a la carte service has struggled to compete with Netflix. 

Dish shares jumped 3.62 percent to $26.32 on news of the new package.