(UPI) -- Video-rental pioneer Blockbuster is about to disappear from the American landscape.
Dish Network, which bought Blockbuster in a 2011 bankruptcy auction, announced Wednesday that it would close all remaining Blockbuster stores in the U.S. and end the brand's DVD-by-mail business.
Dish will retain ownership of the Blockbuster brand, and plans to continue offering "transactional streaming video" service Blockbuster On Demand.
“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” Joseph P. Clayton, president and CEO of Dish, said in a statement.
“Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings.”
In 2004, Blockbuster had some 9,000 retail stores globally. With the rise of on-demand digital delivery from services including Netflix and Hulu, Blockbuster ended up in bankruptcy by 2011.
There are currently 300 Blockbuster stores in the U.S., all of which will be closed along with domestic distribution centers. Dish says that over the past 18 months, "Blockbuster has divested itself of assets in the United States, as well international assets, including operations in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia."
Dish says it will honor existing Blockbuster franchise agreements.