Skip to main content

Blockbuster putting itself up for auction

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Video rental company Blockbuster has announced it will be carrying out a special auction to sell off its U.S. and international subsidies after a bidder, Cobalt Video Holdco, offered the company $290 million. Blockbuster plans to use the bid as a “stalking horse” offer, meaning the $290 million is a minimum bid it will accept—but if anyone comes along and offers more money, Blockbuster is interested.

The once-mighty Blockbuster declared bankruptcy back in September 2010, and has been looking for ways to shore up its bottom line and restructure the company has an ongoing enterprise. Part of that strategy appears to involve getting some new owners.

“By initiating a sale process at this time, we intend to accelerate our Chapter 11 proceedings and move the company forward,” said Blockbuster chairman and CEO Jim Keyes, in a statement. “An auction will allow the company to invite competing bids from both strategic and financial investors. This will also allow for the consolidation of ownership of the company to those with a clear and focused vision for Blockbuster’s future.”

Blockbuster will need approval from the bankruptcy court in the southern district of New York before it can carry out the auction; the court will have to be satisfied that the auction represents a prudent move likely to return the largest possible value to creditors. The company hopes to be sold to the highest bidder by late April.

Blockbuster has been struggling for years to maintain a high-cost base of retail stores in the face of competition from the like of Netflix’s DVD-by-mail and online streaming operations. Although Blockbuster has launched streaming services of its own, the company was forced to close 1,000 retail locations back in 2009, although the company has managed to keep its remaining retail operations running during bankruptcy, both in the United States and internationally.

Editors' Recommendations

Geoff Duncan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff Duncan writes, programs, edits, plays music, and delights in making software misbehave. He's probably the only member…
How much is Apple TV+?
Apple TV+ showing the Morning Show.

Apple TV+ isn't the newcomer to streaming it once was when it launched in 2019. In fact, Apple TV+ has made quite the name for itself, raking in Emmys and Oscars for its top-notch original movies and TV shows. Its subscription numbers have risen steadily over the years, and it's established itself as a desirable streaming service in and among the Netflixes and Amazon Prime Videos of the world.

But one of the best things about Apple TV+s remains its relatively low price compared to more expensive options like Netflix and Hulu. Just how much is Apple TV+, and how can you save even more on your subscription cost? Read on to find out.
How much is Apple TV+?

Read more
Everyone is missing the point on streaming video
App icons on the Apple TV homescreen.

Yes, there are a million ways to watch streaming video. And that's the way it should be. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

There's a tremendous amount of gnashing of teeth anytime a streaming service increases its prices. There's a scramble by media outlets to update SEO-friendly posts and quickly offer alternatives, as if this was all a zero-sum game and you're able to watch the same things on all the services. Or maybe it's time to go back to cable altogether because streaming video is just too darn expensive and it's too hard to find what you want to watch. We're in one of those times in which it feels like all the services are increasing all the prices, to the extent that Engadget has plainly asked "Is streaming even still worth it?"

Read more
Fubo tweaks its plans again, and actually lowers price of one tier
FuboTV app icon on Apple TV.

It's pretty common to see streaming services increase prices every now and then. More rare is seeing prices go down. But that's exactly what's happened with one of the tiers on Fubo.

Fubo (it's no longer called FuboTV) is one of the smaller live streaming services in the U.S., with just over 1.1 million subscribers as of mid-2023. But it's also one of the only ones that offers more than one tier of service. And its most expensive tier has just been renamed, and has a new price to go with it.

Read more