TalkTalk buys Blinkbox and broadband from Tesco

UK retailer Tesco has sold its struggling Blinkbox movie rental service, as well as its broadband offering, to TalkTalk.

It had been widely known that Tesco was looking to offload the loss-making movie streaming service, with reports at one point linking mobile network Vodafone to a bid.

However, it’s TalkTalk that has finally closed out a deal for Blinkbox. No figure has been mentioned for the purchase, but it’s thought that the price paid would have been relatively cheap given the service’s lossmaking nature up to this point.

According to a TalkTalk company statement, “Blinkbox’s established technical expertise in multi-platform, multi-device content delivery and incremental content relationships are highly complementary to TalkTalk’s existing strategy of being the best value for money TV provider in the UK.”
It goes on to reveal that integration of the Blinkbox service into TalkTalk’s existing TV business would begin immediately.

Interestingly, it’s not just Blinkbox that TalkTalk has taken off Tesco’s hands. It has also acquired the retail giant’s broadband and voice call service as part of the deal.

This incorporates 75,000 UK households signed up to Tesco Broadband and 20,000 using its voice plans.

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It’s the latest move in a period of rapid expansion for TalkTalk. Late last year, it acquired Virgin Media’s remaining ADSL broadband business, which incorporated the 100,000 UK households that couldn’t get access to Virgin’s super-fast cable  broadband service.

With rivals Sky, BT, and indeed Virgin itself all looking to strengthen and diversify their media and broadband offerings, it’s probably a good bet for TalkTalk to do the same.

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