Well, the analysts at Pali Research were almost right. There is an additional “mystery” partner in the Viacom, Parmount, Lionsgate, MGM pay TV endeavour — but that partner is reportedly Blockbuster.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the struggling movie rental chain is in talks to join the new subscription network. If Blockbuster invests, it would get digital rights to the new channel’s lineup (perhaps finally putting Movielink to use).
Viacom used to own Blockbuster, so its addition to the group would bring a certain level of familiarity. But is Blockbuster stretching itself too thin?
The company is still moving ahead with its boneheaded plan to buy Circuit City. And Circuit City’s largest shareholder is now pressuring the electronics retailer to accept the buyout offer. If it goes through, Blockbuster will be trying to manage that unification while laying out a digital download roadmap for this new pay TV service, which is set to launch in fall of 2009.