Blockbuster offering new deals for free rentals with online service

Thursday, November 2, 2006

The Associated Press

DALLAS -- Blockbuster began a new service Wednesday that allows customers renting DVDs online to return them to neighborhood stores and receive a free in-store rental.

It's one of several new consumer perks that Blockbuster Chief Executive John Antioco hopes will strengthen ties between the company's online and brick-and-mortar businesses.

Additionally, the program should give Blockbuster a better chance to build its online customer base to 2 million by year's end. It had 1.5 million at the end of September.

The new program is called Blockbuster TotalAccess and is the Dallas-based company's latest development in competing with online rental sites such as Netflix. Blockbuster said it will automatically upgrade all current and new online rental subscribers for no extra cost.

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