Vodafone is in talks to acquire Tesco’s Blinkbox movie and TV rental service, it has emerged, as the mobile phone carrier and broadband provider eyes a move into TV.
According to sources cited by The Telegraph, Vodafone is in advanced negotiations for the loss-making service.
Its sale comes after Blinkbox posted a loss of £18.5 million last year, a reverse that embattled Tesco can ill afford right now.
For that reason, Vodafone is expected to pick up the service at a keen price, especially since rival bidders have reportedly dropped out of talks.
As well as bequeathing Vodafone with the content rights that a TV service requires, the acquisition would enable the carrier to replace Netflix as a mobile-phone contract sweetener with a more lucrative rental offering of its own.
A source said: “Vodafone is basically starting from scratch in content. This will give them a big leg-up. Blinkbox’s market positioning also suits them.
“It focuses on new films that will be attractive to the premium customers that Vodafone targets.”
Vodafone’s move into TV comes as a host of UK telecoms players are drawing up plans for quad-play bundles, in what’s shaping up to be the latest battleground for market share.