Blockbuster said today that its Blockbuster On Demand movie rental service will be available on TiVo set-top boxes in the second half of this year.
The troubled rental chain, which just last week said it was definitely not going bankrupt, will join other movie rental services like Amazon, Netflix, Jaman and CinemaNow, all of which are already on TiVo boxes.
Earlier this year, Blockbuster announced a partnership with Sonic Solutions (which owns CinemaNow) to get Blockbuster On Demand on multiple consumer electronics devices. This strategy will hopefully yield better results than creating its own standalone box, which was pretty much a flop.
Part of today’s announcement also calls for TiVo boxes to be sold in Blockbuster stores as well as online at Blockbuster.com. TiVo has been losing subscribers quarter after quarter and needs all the help it can get if it wants to stay in the hardware business, but with Blockbuster having troubles of its own, we can’t imagine this will move the needle much.
Strangely, in the press release Jim Keyes, Blockbuster’s chairman and CEO said, “Ultimately, our vision is to work with TiVo so that their subscribers can access movies not only through our OnDemand service but also from our stores and through our by-mail service as well.”
That’s a bit of a head-scratcher. Does Keyes expect TiVo subscribers, who can now access movies with the push of a button, to drive to a store to either order a digital movie or pick up a DVD? Blockbuster isn’t known for being forward-thinking, but that’s just backwards.