Tesco buys Blinkbox - will Tesco TV take the fight to Sky?
It's been confirmed by numerous sources in the press and the industry that Tesco has bought an 80% share in Blinkbox, the movie and TV streaming website with more than two million visitors per month.
It's far too early to say what Tesco's plans are, but it seems likely the supermarket will deliver a new Tesco-branded streaming television product to the mainstream market. Rather than create their own technology and infrastructure, Tesco has a history of utilising the efforts of a successful company (O2 for mobile, Carsite for tescocars.com) to build a mass-market platform on top of it.
Blinkbox currently allows users to rent films and television programmes, and is available online and via set-top media browsers along with the likes of the BBC iPlayer and loveFILM. Hardware would undoubtedly be another area of the market that Tesco look to seize, since streaming set-top boxes aren't mainstream products just yet.
What's more, Tesco isn't short of money and has the mainstream reach to acquire market share quickly; together with their mobile and broadband services, is this the first step towards Tesco squaring up to the likes of Virgin and Sky to deliver home entertainment in the future?