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Blockbuster’s string of poor decisions goes back a pretty long ways, it seems. Ten years ago, BB’s then-CEO John Antioco was approached by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings about a potential partnership, which was laughingly brushed aside by the much larger Blockbuster.

The anecdote comes from recently departed Netflix CFO Barry McCarthy, who was with Hastings at the time the partnership was proposed. According to McCarthy:

“I remembered getting on a plane, I think sometime in 2000, with Reed [Hastings] and [Netflix co-founder] Marc Randolph and flying down to Dallas, Texas and meeting with John Antioco . . . Reed had the chutzpah to propose to them that we run their brand online and that they run [our] brand in the stores and they just about laughed us out of their office. At least initially, they thought we were a very small niche business. Gradually over time, as we grew our market [Antioco's] thinking evolved, but initially they ignored us and that was much to our advantage.”

What if Blockbuster management had not been so short-sighted ten years ago, Insiders? What would the current video rental landscape look like today?

(via CNET)

7 Responses to “Blockbuster Laughed Off 2000 Netflix Partnership Offer”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    tinybrat [visitor]

    If they had joined forces, you’d see two companies in bankruptcy status instead of one. Any partnerships with a dinosaur for a company is just poor business.

  2. Member [Join Now]
    s142424

    That’s a big WOOPS on BB’s part. But I agree tinybrat – just look at AOL/TimeWarner.

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    Rodney [visitor]

    BB has a long history of being on the wrong side of these things. It took them years to switch from VHS to DVD.

  4. Member [Join Now]
    spiralone

    Why am I not surprised? WTG BB!

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    russ [visitor]

    Blockbuster started up their dvd by mail business within a year of Netflix. But their selection was terrible and their turnaround time was twice as long. I used both services at the same time for about 6 or 7 months and Netflix was so much better it was like the Globetrotters vs. the Generals. Heck, even NumberSlate did a better job than Blockbuster.

  6. Member [Join Now]
    Alan Smithee [8traxrule]

    The movie selection at Netflix would be a lot worse if Blockbuster owned them!

  7. Member [Join Now]
    timscarlet [timscarlet]

    New Netflix friends community starting now.

    http://www.yournetflix.com/