Published: 17.21 Europe/London, April 20, 2011

Blinkbox, the video-on-demand outfit established by former Channel 4 New Media executive Michael Cormish and Vodafoneís former head of content Adrian Letts, has been acquired by the UK retailer Tesco. Itís the latest in a series of recent deals that have seen established names enter the connected TV market through the acquisition of start-up companies.

In January, Lovefilm was acquired for £200 million by Amazon, while in the United States Wallmart purchased video site Vudu for a reported $100 million.

Tesco will purchase 80% of Blinkbox from private investors Eden Ventures and Nordic Venture Partners. Terms have not been disclosed.

Blinkbox boasts 2 million visitors per month that have access to a mix of advertising supported and paid-for content that includes 9,000 movie titles and a number of TV series.

Already available on the Mac, PC and Playstation 3, Blinkbox has plans to appear on Samsung connected TVs.

Tesco, the UKís dominant supermarket chain, already offers its customers mp3s to download and also has packaged media DVD rental available.