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Blockbuster to close 300 U.S. stores

Blockbuster, once the top spot to find video

Blockbuster, once the top spot to find video entertainment, is closing its 300 remaining stores in the United States, its owner Dish Network announced Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. This spot is in Racine, Wis. Credit: AP, 2010

The final curtain is falling on the Blockbuster video-rental stores that Dish Network Corp. owns in the United States.

The closures announced Wednesday will affect about 300 Blockbuster locations across the country, including all remaining stores in the New York area. A company spokeswoman said she did not have a breakdown of store locations on Long Island or in the state.

Dish Network expects the stores to be closed by early January. It says about 2,800 people will lose their jobs.

The Englewood, Colo. satellite-TV provider also is shutting down Blockbuster's DVD-by-mail service next month.

Dish Network's retreat will render Blockbuster's once-ubiquitous brand nearly extinct. About 50 U.S. stores operating under franchise agreements will remain open.

Blockbuster's downfall began more than a decade ago with the rise of Netflix Inc.'s DVD-by-mail service, followed by the introduction of a subscription service that streams video over high-speed Internet connections.

Dish Network bought Blockbuster out of bankruptcy court in 2011.

Dish Network is trying to keep the Blockbuster brand alive through an Internet video-streaming service that rents movies and TV shows by title, for a set viewing time.

Blockbuster suffered an operating loss of $35 million on revenue of $1.1 billion last year. -- AP, with Keiko Morris

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