Dish Cuts Blockbuster Rates For Netflix Subs, But Still Isn't Cheaper

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Dish Network is offering to "rescue" consumers irate over Netflix's price hike by inviting them to try Blockbuster's DVD-by-mail service with a 30-day free trial -- but the Blockbuster offers are actually priced the same as or higher than the revised Netflix plans.

After the free trial period, Netflix customers who switch to Blockbuster's Total Access service will pay $9.99 per month for one DVD out at a time or $14.99 per month for two out at a time, including access to Blu-ray movies. Ordinarily, those plans are $11.99 and $16.99 per month, respectively.

That's actually higher than Netflix's revised pricing for non-Blu-ray DVD plans. Netflix announced Tuesday it will now charge $7.99 a month for the one DVD out at-a-time plan and $11.99 a month for the two DVDs out at-a-time plan. According to analysts, Netflix is trying to migrate customers to the more profitable streaming-only plan.

Netflix charges $9.99 and $14.99 per month for one- and two-DVDs out at a time for plans that include Blu-ray Disc movies.

The regular Blockbuster Total Access for non-Netflix subscribers continues to remain more expensive than Netflix's plans: $11.99 per month for one DVD out at once; $16.99 for two; and $19.99 for three.

According to Blockbuster, its Total Access provides benefits Netflix doesn't offer, including many new releases 28 days before Netflix; unlimited in-store exchanges; games for Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii.

Blockbuster's special offer for Netflix customers is available through Sept. 15, 2011, in participating stores and at Blockbuster's website at Customers must provide proof of their Netflix account.

Dish acquired the assets for Blockbuster in April through bankruptcy court proceedings for $320 million. Blockbuster would not disclose the number of Total Access subscribers it currently has.