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NEW YORK (AP) Blockbuster's soon-to-be parent company Dish Network Corp. has agreed to take on leases for hundreds of Blockbuster stores, ensuring the video rental chain will continue to have a physical presence.

Dish filed papers with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of New York on Saturday indicating it has agreed to assume about 500 leases. Dallas-based Blockbuster has closed numerous stores and now operates about 1,700 across the U.S. A hearing on Dish's assumption of the leases is set for Thursday.

Dish won an auction this month for Blockbuster Inc. with a bid valued at $228 million in cash. The deal is expected to close Thursday. Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy protection in September.

Dish has been mum about its specific plans for Blockbuster's brand, stores and streaming-video service.

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