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Blockbuster Hangs On for Dear Life

Blockbuster unveils new initiatives as its debt deadline looms.



) -- It looks like



is doing anything it can to stave off bankruptcy.

The movie rental retailer is beefing up its Blockbuster By Mail Service, now adding video games to the mix. This is yet another attempt to compete in the digital space after being very late to the game.

Also this week Blockbuster teamed up with



to launch, a site that allows Comcast subscribers to sign up for the video chain's Blockbuster by Mail service at a discounted rate.

Over the past month, Blockbuster has been trying to prove to creditors it can keep up with rivals


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. This is painfully obvious on

Blockbuster's own Web site

, where it shows how its By Mail service stacks up against Netflix.

Blockbuster said it will offer Canada members a $9.99 per month plan that will allow them to rent unlimited movies (one at a time). The "Favorites Pass" program does not include Blu-ray discs or new releases. The move comes on the heels of Netflix's announcement that it will begin streaming movies in Canada in the fall.

Blockbuster also rolled out an advertising campaign that touts its 28-day advantage for new releases over rival Netflix.

Netflix, along with Coinstar's Redbox kiosks, have stolen market-share away from Blockbuster, who has been trying to play catch up in the digital world. This has proven difficult, as Blockbuster tries to get out from nearly $1 billion in debt.

The company is due to make a debt payment, which is pushed back last month, of $42 million on Friday

Blockbuster was delisted in July from the New York Stock Exchange after shareholders failed to approve a recapitalization plan, which included combining Class A and Class B common stock, or the option for a reverse stock split, which was necessary to comply with listing requirements.

Blockbuster's second-quarter earnings are due out after-market on Thursday.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.


>>Will Blockbuster Make Its Debt Payment?

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