tescologoUK ISP and media player TalkTalk Group has announced the acquisition of “the blinkbox Movies business and the Tesco broadband and fixed line voice base from Tesco Plc.” And UK supermarket major Tesco, as many will remember, has won recognition for its own Hudl tablet brand, now expanded with its successor the Hudl 2. Mid-2014 Tesco also launched the Blinkbox Books ebook platform, which is not mentioned in the TalkTalk press release, but further statements by TalkTalk to The Bookseller indicate that Blinkbox Books, as well as the allied music service, remain … ahem … on Tesco’s books.

Tesco also confirmed to The Bookseller that they were looking for other buyers for the books and music services. This should come as no surprise, seeing as Tesco’s original disposal of the movie platform was part of broader consolidation around its core businesses and a retreat from its loss-making digital media properties. However, there is also no indication yet of the fate of the Hudl tablet brand. It would be a shame to see this discontinued, though, as the latest Hudl 2 version is currently one of the best-rated, as well as best-selling, budget tablets in the UK, and has won plaudits as one of Britain’s best tablets of 2014.

Tesco may not feel so positive about the Hudl brand if it can no longer use it as a delivery platform for chargeable content services, but it also isn’t clear who could pick up the brand and sustain its strong track record. Whatever the success of Blinkbox in Tesco’s hands, the chain has a winner on its hands with the Hudl 2, and I can only hope they continue to run with it, or put it in safe hands if they decide to pass the Hudl baton.



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