UPDATE 3: Since posting this story, Blockbuster owner Dish Network has denied it has licensed the Blockbuster name to Crash.
The Blockbuster name is returning to the UK High Street courtesy of Crash Entertainment.
The Jack FM owner has licensed the Blockbuster name from owner Dish for retail and by mail DVD distribution operations”. It also plans to open ten stores and rebrand the five existing Crash Entertainment stores.
It has also reached an agreement with Virgin Media that will see a Blockbuster video on demand service launch on its TIVO cable boxes.
Existing Crash stores don’t sell games, but some of Crash’s pre-deal announcements did mention video games as being part of the new Blockbuster offer.
"This is good news for Blockbuster customers in the UK, as consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," Dish president and chief executive officer Joseph Clayton said.
"Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings."
UPDATE: Virgin Media has been in touch with MCV to stress that no such deal is in place with either Crash or Blockbuster, with the spokesperson saying that they had not even heard of the company until yesterday. Crash has yet to respond to either MCV’s or Virgin’s enquiries.
UPDATE 2: All information relating to Crash Entertainment’s association with either Crash Radio, Blockbuster, Virgin or Dish has now been removed from the company’s website. This included company registration details for two companies – one in the UK and one in the Isle of Man – both of which were linked to Crash Radio.
Indeed, a comparison of the Crash Entertainment and Crash Radio websites reveals some subtle disparities – note the slight difference in the resolution and positioning of the background image, for instance.
A source has told MCV that Crash Radio has said it is in no way affiliated with Crash Entertainment. MCV has contacted Dish, owner of the Blockbuster IP, for clarification.