Dish prepping Blockbuster-branded Netflix competitor

Dish Network (s DISH) could soon take on Netflix (s NFLX) in the subscription streaming space, with a new service offered through its Blockbuster subsidiary. The service is expected to roll out next month, as Dish seeks to take advantage of a price change for Netflix users that could increase the price of their subscriptions by as much as 60 percent, Bloomberg reports.

The launch of a subscription streaming service would complement Blockbuster’s existing online video on demand and DVD-by-mail services, in addition to its remaining brick-and-mortar DVD rental stores. Presumably it would include licensed content from a number of movie studios and TV networks. One network mentioned in the Bloomberg story is Starz, (s LSTZA) which announced Thursday that it was calling off its negotiations with Netflix and letting its existing licensing deal expire in February 2012.

The timing of a launch will coincide with the introduction of a new pricing structure at Blockbuster competitor Netflix, which separated its streaming and DVD-by-mail plans beginning yesterday. In doing so, the price of a combined unlimited streaming and DVD-by-mail plan has increased from $9.99 a month to $15.98 a month, a change that has many Netflix users peeved and threatening to quit. This isn’t the first time that Blockbuster has sought to steal Netflix subscribers when bad news hits: With the announcement of Netflix’s new rate plans, Blockbuster offered a special promotion to Netflix subscribers who planned to quit.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Andrew Levine.