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Tesco Enters Content Streaming Business

Tesco plc announced that it has acquired an 80% stake in U.K. streaming video provider Blinkbox Entertainment from Eden Ventures and Nordic Venture Partners.

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Unedited press release follows:


20 April 2011

Tesco today announced that it has acquired a majority stake in video-on-demand pioneer blinkbox. The acquisition positions Tesco for the next stage in the internet-driven revolution in home entertainment.

blinkbox is the UK’s leading movie streaming service, offering thousands of titles streamed on the internet to 2m users each month. Their catalogue of more than 9,000 titles is available to rent or buy, alongside a host of free-to-view movies, TV shows and trailers, on PC, Mac, PS3 console, tablet devices and internet-enabled connected TVs.

Tesco has bought an 80% stake in blinkbox from Eden Ventures and Nordic Venture Partners.

Richard Brasher, Tesco UK CEO said, “Whether customers want to own the DVD, download a digital movie, stream a rental or all three, Tesco is committed to giving customers choice. We want to allow them to decide how they access entertainment content and on which devices, whether it’s on PC, TV or tablet. The acquisition of blinkbox, together with a range of other services currently in development, means we can link physical purchase of a product to the building of digital collections in a new and seamless way. Working with the blinkbox team and our content partners, we will bring these compelling propositions to life for our customers.”

blinkbox CEO Michael Comish, said, “We are pleased that our partnership with Tesco allows us to bring the best in entertainment from our library of over 9,000 titles to even more people across the UK. It’s a hugely exciting time, looking at how accessible entertainment is becoming for consumers. This partnership represents another step forward, bringing the leading movie streaming service together with the UK’s biggest retailer.”

Claus Hoejbjerg Andersen from Nordic Venture Partners and Charles Grimsdale from Eden Ventures, in a joint statement said, “We congratulate Tesco on the acquisition of blinkbox and are excited to be following the continued growth of the business under Tesco”.

blinkbox is the UK’s leading movie streaming service with more than 2 million visitors per month. Since its launch in April 2008, the company has amassed a catalogue exceeding 9,000 leading Hollywood blockbuster films and a host of the best TV series available, with additional content becoming available every month. blinkbox is the only service of its kind to have a combined free/pay ‘freemium’ offering, allowing users to stream paid-for feature titles alongside free, advert-supported TV and film content. Available now on PC, Mac and PS3 blinkbox will shortly go live on Samsung internet connected TVs with other tablet and TV devices to follow throughout 2011, including the Youview television service.