Alternative British broadband provider TalkTalk has announced the acquisition of both the ‘blinkbox’ video service and the broadband and fixed line services from supermarket giant Tesco. In a statement confirming the development TalkTalk noted that the assets had been acquired free of debt and as a single transaction for cash, though no details regarding a purchase price were disclosed. The telco did, however, confirm that the number of broadband and fixed voice customers it would add as a result of the deal with Tesco stood at around 75,000 and 20,000, respectively, with TalkTalk saying this would ‘enable [it] to further leverage the superior scale and economics of [its] national network’. In a similar fashion to the ADSL subscriber base it bought from Virgin Media in the last quarter of 2014, TalkTalk has said it will transfer customer across to its own infrastructure in the coming months.
With regards to blinkbox, meanwhile, TalkTalk said that the former’s ‘established technical expertise in multi-platform, multi-device content delivery’ will prove complementary to its existing pay-TV strategy, enabling it to offer customers ‘flexible access to the widest range of free and paid for content’. TalkTalk already has more than 1.2 million pay-TV customers on its books, and has said that it anticipates the blinkbox acquisition will accelerate the deployment of its platform ‘by delivering a number of key initiatives significantly faster, such as offering a TV app to customers for in and out of home access to paid-for content across a range of devices’. The integration of blinkbox with the telco’s existing TV business is expected to begin immediately, with the benefits of restructuring the combined platform and revenue synergies expected to begin by end-2015.
Commenting on the development, Dido Harding, TalkTalk chief executive, was cited as saying: ‘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.’