Dish Network names Michael Kelly new president of Blockbuster


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Dish Network Corp. named Michael Kelly president of Blockbuster, the struggling video chain whose assets it acquired last week.

The announcement came ahead of Monday’s earnings call, when investors are hoping to learn more of Dish Network’s plans for Blockbuster. The pay-television operator paid $233 million in cash and assumed $87 million in liabilities and obligations.


Dish Network has indicated in private conversations that the satellite operator hopes to use Blockbuster’s brand name and online assets to build a movie service that could compete with fast-growing Netflix. In a recent call with Wall Street analysts, Dish Chief Executive Charlie Ergen said some customers were canceling their subscriptions to premium channels such as HBO in favor of streaming movies and TV-show reruns on Netflix.

Kelly has served as executive vice president of Dish Network’s commercial services division, overseeing sales. He has held various executive positions within the company, including management of field service, customer care operations and strategic initiatives. He joined Dish in 2000, when it acquired his company, Kelly Broadcasting Systems, a distributor of international radio and television programming in the United States.

“Blockbuster can offer more movies to consumers in more ways than any other distributor,” Kelly said in a statement, noting he looked forward to reinvigorating the brand that allowed consumers access to ‘movie and game titles available from Blockbuster’s neighborhood stores, by-mail service and digital library.”

-- Dawn C. Chmielewski