Blockbuster, Live Nation ink deal

Rental chain will sell seats to concerts at retail locations

Blockbuster will become the exclusive bricks-and-mortar seller of tickets for Live Nation concerts next year.

The three-year deal, set to be announced Tuesday, allows 500 Blockbuster stores to sell tickets for Live Nation's new Live Nation Ticketing unit that competes with Barry Diller's Ticketmaster.

Live Nation Ticketing sells about 10 million concert tickets a year through its Web site and at the venues, leaving Blockbuster to sell about 1 million tickets annually.

The deal gives Blockbuster exclusive blocks of tickets during the first four hours of ticket sales as well as general tickets for as long as supplies last. Other exclusive concert-related products and promotions also are expected.

"Our research definitively shows that the vast majority of music fans who prefer to buy their concert tickets at a retail location find Blockbuster to be the most convenient choice," Live Nation Ticketing CEO Nathan Hubbard said.

Blockbuster has been positioning itself as a one-stop shop for entertainment by providing not only DVD sales and rentals but also video game software and hardware, Blu-ray Disc players and toys and posters related to movies.

Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes said that Blockbuster concert tickets is "another step in the transformation of Blockbuster into a brand that offers the most convenient access to entertainment."

He said he expects the agreement to drive "hundreds of thousands of customers to our stores."
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