EXCLUSIVE: The Blockbuster movie service that senior executives of TiVo were bragging about 18 months ago is set to be switched off on 5 March according to an email that has been syndicated to TiVo customers.We can also reveal that Blockbuster is close to launching its own IP movie network in Australia that will compete directly with TiVo and Foxtel and that at least two major TV vendors will put widgets on IP-enabled TVs that will allow users to access movies, TV programs and documentaries directly from Blockbuster in Australia.
This week TiVo customers have been told that, effective from March 2010, they will no longer be able to see or access Blockbuster Movies from a TiVo media player.
They have also been advised that movies downloaded to a TiVo box prior to 5th March 2010 will still be available; however, any current or pending downloads will be automatically cancelled and refunded after the 5 March with the balance of the customer’s Blockbuster movie account refunded.
Blockbuster, which is part of the Franchise Entertainment Group say that they are close to launching a new home movie service which will include new movie titles including 3D movies as well as TV shows, foreign movies and documentaries.
The material, which will be available in both standard- and full high-definition will be capable of being delivered to TVs with a Blockbuster widget, PCs and gaming consoles.
FEG has also built a database of TiVo customers who have purchased movies during the past 18 months. This list will be used to entice consumers to use the new Blockbuster service over a new Caspa movie service that TiVo will move to next month.
In an email sent to TiVo customers FEG say “If you have elected to receive marketing materials from Blockbuster in your TiVo customer profile, then we will send you information on this new service later in 2010. If you have not elected to receive marketing material in your TiVo profile but would like to receive information on our new service then please either email us at email@example.com.”
More to follow.