TalkTalk emerges as latest potential blinkbox buyer

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 30 December 2014

Tesco's struggling blinkbox UK online video service reportedly has a new suitor in the form of leading ISP TalkTalk.

blinkboxDownAccording to reports in the Financial Times, a deal could happen as soon as the first week of January 2015 when the supermarket chain's new chief executive Dave Lewis begins his tenure.

Blinkbox has been in play for a number of months, and at the beginning of December mobile operator Vodafone was reported to be poised to swoop for the streaming video company as part of huge TV play including the acquisition of Liberty Global. Vodafone had reportedly approached Liberty Global earlier in 2014 but found a gulf on price expectations.

Tesco acquired the blinkbox entertainment service in 2011 for £3 million, expecting to be a major player in the UK's robust online video market. However, according to documents from Companies House for the year to February 2013, the three companies that form the blinkbox group — blinkbox Entertainment, blinkbox Books and blinkbox Music — suffered a combined post-tax loss of £24.7 million on total revenues of £3.5 million.

TalkTalk has been successful with its TV offerings over the last two years, adding 185,000 net TV subscribers in the first quarter of 2014, bringing its total to 1.1 million. Research from Quantum-Web in November revealed the success of TalkTalk and rival BT in driving the UK IPTV market which the analyst predicts will account for 23.7% of media connections by 2018.