TalkTalk acquires blinkbox in multiplay move

TalkTalk has confirmed the completed acquisition of video on-demand provider blinkbox Movies from Tesco, as well as its broadband subscriber base.  As the UK market continues to see M&A activity towards converged, multiplay service offerings, the acquisition has expanded TalkTalk’s available range of TV and video content.

Currently the UK’s fourth largest broadband provider, the acquisition of Tesco’s broadband customers also brings an additional 75,000 households to TalkTalk’s subscribership, as well as 20,000 more voice customers.

According to Ovum’s World Broadband Information Service, the UK broadband market is becoming increasingly competitive. TalkTalk currently serves 4.2 million customers, while Sky and Virgin Media sit marginally ahead on 5.3m and 4.5m respectively. BT leads the market with 7.4 million customers, as of Q3 2014. Interesting to the multiplay discussion, it is worth noting that EE has seen a growth of 100,000 customers on its own residential broadband offering in the past 12 months, and now serves nearly 800,000 nationwide.

Considering the competitive nature of the UK telecoms market, adding blinkbox’s content-based services to its portfolio could be seen as a move by TalkTalk to provide a more compelling value proposition and service differentiator. The operator already serves 1.2 million television customers, and provides access to premium services offered by BSkyB, its Sky Sports subsidiary, video on-demand service NowTV and additional pay-TV platforms from UK television channels.

Representatives of blinkbox Movies told the multi-platform TV and movies provider has roughly 1 million active monthly users, which could be seen as a significant boost to TalkTalk’s user base.

Speaking of the acquisition, TalkTalk’s Chief Executive, Dido Harding, reiterated the company’s vision of a multiplay service bundle.

“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,” she said. “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.”

When contacted by, no official cost of the acquisition has been announced by TalkTalk or Tesco. However, Sky News reporter claimed the transaction is valued at approximately £5 million.

As the converged nature of the UK telecoms and TV sector becomes more prominent, TalkTalk is actively pursuing additional content services to add to its existing portfolio of television, mobile, broadband and fixed telephony.

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