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Blockbuster Inc. Expands Presence in Central America

Opens Stores in Costa Rica and Guatemala

DALLAS, Aug. 7, 2001  /PRNewswire/ -- Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI) has announced that it has further expanded its presence in Central America by opening franchised stores in Costa Rica and Guatemala. This brings Blockbuster's worldwide presence to 28 countries, including the United States.

Last year, the company announced that it would increase its presence in Central America through franchising arrangements. Since then, Blockbuster has entered into agreements in Costa Rica with Immobiliaria de Videos S.A., which is affiliated with Blockbuster's Panamanian franchisee, Grupo Mizbe S.A., as well as Corporacion de Entretenimiento de Guatemala, S.A., an affiliate of the current Blockbuster franchisee in El Salvador.

Both franchisees opened one store in each market earlier this month and anticipate opening additional stores in these markets by the end of 2001.

"As the leading international retailer of rentable home movies and video games, it is very exciting to announce our latest expansion into Costa Rica and Guatemala," said Chris Wyatt, president, Blockbuster International. "Through franchising, we are able to effectively expand our consumer reach and bring the Blockbuster brand into new markets."

Blockbuster has corporate store presence in Argentina, Canada, Chile, China (Hong Kong), Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland and Uruguay. International franchise markets include Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Thailand, The Philippines and Venezuela. Additionally, Australia, Mexico, Spain and Taiwan have both corporate and franchise presence.

Blockbuster Inc. is a publicly traded subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B) and is the world's leading renter of videos, DVDs, and video games with nearly 7,800 stores throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. The company may be accessed internationally at www.blockbuster.com . Viacom is the No. 1 platform in the world for advertisers, with preeminent positions in broadcast and cable television, radio, outdoor advertising, and online.

This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to Blockbuster's international franchise operations. These forward-looking statements are based on Blockbuster's current intent, expectations, and estimates and are not guarantees of future performance. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Factors include, among others, the ability of franchisees to obtain desirable locations and acceptable leases and other factors, as set forth under the headings "Business - Our Business -- Franchise Operations; and -- International Operations" and "Cautionary Statements" in Blockbuster's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2000.

Copyright 2001 PR Newswire Association LLC

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