Blockbuster has eyes for Movielink.

In article from Variety, the report that that rental giant "is in advanced talks" to buy Movielink even though other potential buyers are circling.

An executive at Movielink confirmed that Blockbuster was talking to the "studio owned site."

Movielink was launched by "NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and MGM launched Movielink in 2002," but has never really caught on with consumers. Other companies like "Netflix, Wal-Mart and Amazon have all launched online movie services over the last year."

Blockbuster is currently offering $50 million dollars for the site (as well as stock options) but this situation is seen as win-win for both the studio owners and Blockbuster. Should the deal come off it "would provide the studios with an exit strategy and Blockbuster the infrastructure to get into the download business immediately."

What also makes the deal so intriguing to Blockbuster is that Movielink "already has movie deals with nearly every major studio; even more importantly, it is backed by millions of dollars of studio investment in the underlying technology, intended to combat piracy."

Movielink has been hurt because they've "been unwilling to anger retailer competition by undercutting their prices. Movielink has a small share of the paid download market, which is dominated by Apple iTunes. According to the latest numbers from the NPD Group, Movielink had a 3% share in the third quarter of 2006, compared with iTunes' 90% share."

It is Blockbuster's goal to offer their customers a "triple play -- video rentals at its stores, by mail and as online downloads."

Evan Jacobs at Movieweb
Evan Jacobs