Dish Network Wins Blockbuster For $320 Million At Auction, Swears It Was Just Raising Its Hand To Wave To A Friend

Blockbuster Video — or rather the assets of Blockbuster — now have a new owner after Dish Network won what’s left of the beleaguered video rental company for around $320 million at auction.

Last month, Blockbuster got permission from a bankruptcy court to put itself on the auction block in an effort to cut down on the $1 billion in debt the once-great company found itself in.

Meanwhile, Dish’s mouth was watering at the chance to snatch up Blockbuster’s online video services as a way to instantly bolster its standing against bigger satellite TV provider DirecTV.

“With its more than 1,700 store locations, a highly recognizable brand and multiple methods of delivery, Blockbuster will complement our existing video offerings while presenting cross-marketing and service extension opportunities for DISH Network,” said Tom Cullen, executive vice president of Sales, Marketing and Programming for DISH Network. “While Blockbuster’s business faces significant challenges, we look forward to working with its employees to re-establish Blockbuster’s brand as a leader in video entertainment.”

Completion of the transaction still requires bankruptcy court approval. Dish says it expects the deal to be made official some time in the second quarter of 2011.