TalkTalk buys Tesco’s broadband and Blinkbox movies service

TalkTalk has acquired Tesco’s broadband customer base and loss-making Blinkbox video-on-demand service for around £5m

TalkTalk has acquired Tesco’s broadband customer base and loss-making Blinkbox video-on-demand service for around £5m in cash.

The deal will see the fast-growing ISP add around 75,000 broadband and 20,000 voice households to its customer base, which it claims would enable it to benefit from increased economies of scale. These customers will be migrated in the next few months, TalkTalk said in a statement.

Blinkbox, the TV and movie-streaming service that Tesco bought in 2011, will add to TalkTalk’s quad-play services.

The firm has designs to be the “best value for money TV provider in the UK” and, with the addition of 1.2 million Blinkbox customers, said it could now accelerate the development of its own platform.

It hopes to bring to market a number of key initiatives sooner rather than later, including a TV app for customers for in- and out-of-home access to Blinkbox’s pay-per-view content library – which includes hits such as Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and True Detective – across various tablets and mobile devices.

TalkTalk’s TV proposition is pitched firmly at users who would like more content than they can find on Freeview, but are unwilling to fork out for Sky or Virgin Media services.

The integration of Blinkbox will begin immediately, with the firm’s CEO and co-founder Adrian Letts joining TalkTalk as managing director of TV.

The end of Blinkbox’s alliance with Tesco comes months after the ousting of supermarket boss Philip Clarke, who brought it into the fold to begin with.

It is thought that the loss-making service was made to walk the plank by Tesco’s new CEO, Dave Lewis, as he seeks to fill a £263m black hole in the firm’s profits.

TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding said: “TalkTalk TV has demonstrated its popularity with value-seeking customers to become the UK’s fastest growing TV service. We are excited about the opportunity that blinkbox’s platform and technology expertise bring, and which will significantly accelerate the development of our TV platform. 

“The purchase of Tesco’s broadband base is another example of TalkTalk leveraging its national network to grow faster. We are excited about the future of quad-play – fixed phone and broadband, TV and mobile – and this acquisition will help to further drive home our value for money advantage.”

Read more on Telecoms networks and broadband communications

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