DVD rental chain Blockbuster has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US.

The loss-making brand has suffered in recent years at the hands of online rental firms such as Netflix - the US market leader.

While this won't effect Blockbuster operations throughout the rest of the world, the US-based Blockbuster business will reportedly be able to reduce its debts and begin a total restructure. According to Blockbuster, it will be able to cut its debts from around $1bn to $100m.

The company's 3000 US stores are to remain open for now, although with restructuring underway it wouldn't be a great surprise if there were to be some closures in the long-term.

With online rental services and downloads on the increase, Blockbuster is no doubt in for a rough ride in the future. While the company does offer an online rental option, this was only launched in 2004, making it rather late to the party compared to Netflix which launched in 1999.