Report: Dish Network to assume 500+ Blockbuster leases

New York City -- A report Monday by the Wall Street Journal said that Dish Network Corp. will assume leases on more than 500 Blockbuster stores after it completes its acquisition of the video-rental chain.

The lease takeovers will assure that Blockbuster will maintain some physical presence.

In a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, Blockbuster also listed hundreds of locations where it plans to reject leases, as its number of open stores continues to dwindle.

While there is no concrete information being released yet about how many Blockbuster stores will remain open, the court papers suggest that the latest round of closings will bring the number to around 1,000 open. As of early April, Blockbuster had either closed or initiated closings on nearly half of its stores and now has just over 1,700 locations.

Dish won a bankruptcy court auction this month for Blockbuster with a final bid of $320.6 million. The satellite-TV company hopes to close the deal by April 25, although the purchase agreement gives the company until May 5.

Dish has said it plans to keep some Blockbuster stores open.

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