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Enron and Blockbuster Terminate Relationship

Enron and Blockbuster announced Friday that they have terminated their exclusive relationship for a video on demand service that was undergoing testing.

Last year, Blockbuster ( www.blockbuster.com) and Enron (www.enron.com) said they were teaming to develop an entertainment on demand platform. Trials are still underway in Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City and New York.

Both companies released statements saying that they had terminated the relationship. Kelly Kimberly, senior VP at Enron was coy when asked if the split was a mutual and friendly one. "We're pleased with the results of the trial but feel we need better quantity and quality of movies to accelerate this offering," she said.

In a statement, Kenneth D. Rice, Enron Broadband Services' chairman and CEO said, "We validated our ability to deliver content on-demand through the trial, and now Enron wants to take our service to the next level by adding content and subscribers on an accelerated basis."

Kimberly said that Enron is also looking to talk to content providers to deliver games, television and movies over Enron's platform. Enron said that the four-city trial of the service with Blockbuster will continue throughout the trial period. Blockbuster said it anticipates completing the trial, as well.

In a statement, Blockbuster said it was essentially broadening its horizons. "We continue to believe VOD will eventually become a commercial reality and that Blockbuster will have a formidable presence in this arena. However, we also believe there will be multiple technologies that make this service available in the home," said John Antioco, Blockbuster chairman and CEO. "Based on this, our plan, as the leading consumer-branded entertainment-aggregator, is to remain technology agnostic and open to all sorts of alliances."

Blockbuster recently made a deal to stream movies with Universal Pictures, in addition to one made with MGM last year.

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