Scratch another broadband provider from the marketplace, TalkTalk who had been expected to acquire blinkbox from Tesco has also acquired the supermarket's fixed line telephone and broadband customers.
The acquisition is a bit of a New Year bargain at £5 million for the blinkbox Movies business, 75,000 broadband customers and 20,000 fixed line voice households. This was paid as cash in a single transaction and comes as Tesco announces store closures.
TalkTalk is well versed in broadband acquisitions, and is already in the process of moving across the old Virgin Media National ADSL customer base to its own LLU network. The 97,000 Virgin customers when added to todays 75,000 customers brings TalkTalk to within around 60,000 customers of beating Virgin Media into third place in terms of broadband customers.
"Since launch 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.Dido Harding, Chief Executive of TalkTalk
With some 1.2 million customers on the TalkTalk TV platform adding blinkbox should help to push those numbers up even further, especially if this means that a TV app for mobile customers can be rolled out. TalkTalk has not said anything, but if a mobile provider was able to offer a TV streaming app to mobile customers and offer zero cost data usage for purchased films even when using 3G/4G data it could be very disruptive.
2015 is also set to be busy with TalkTalk taking part in the York FTTP/FTTH trial in conjunction with Sky and CityFibre, this should see the two retailers fighting for the custom of 20,000 households in the city and once combined with Openreach FTTP coverage mean York has around 25 to 32% of households (exact figure will vary depending on whether there are overlaps) and almost matched the level of Virgin Media cable coverage in the city.