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Blinkbox Eyes Sellthrough Over SVOD

19 Aug, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Owned by British supermarket giant Tesco, Blinkbox uses access to new releases to expand its presence in a market increasingly undermined by rental icons Netflix and LoveFilm

Blinkbox, the digital sellthrough platform owned by British retail behemoth Tesco, just ended a promotion that offered users access to free first episodes of TV shows designed to spur interest in both the service and acquiring the series digitally and on disc.

Tesco is the largest packaged media retailer in the United Kingdom, and was the first to offer UltraViolet functionality.

Dubbed “," the campaign allowed users to select one of 28 programs and watch the premiere episode for free until Aug. 19 — well before many of the programs’ broadcast premieres.

The promotion featured American and British TV series, including “True Blood,” “The Wire,” “Entourage,” “Veep,” “The Newsroom,” “Arrow,” “The Following,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “The West Wing,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Supernatural,” “Two Broke Girls,” “The Americans,” “Modern Family,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Touch,” “American Horror Story,” “Lost Girl,” “Community,” “Justified,” “The Tudors,” “Damages,” “Unforgettable,” “Men at Work,” “Pan Am,” “The Big C,” “I'm Alan Partridge” and “Rizzoli & Isles.”

Users were directed a specific TV show’s website where they could input a code to redeem the first episode, which was valued at $2.99. The episodes could only be viewed on a PC or Mac — not on an Internet-connected TV, tablet, Blu-ray Disc player or smart phone.

Participating studios included 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Home Media Distribution, HBO and BBC Worldwide, among others.

“We think you should be able to enjoy great TV all year round, anytime and anywhere, not just when programs are scheduled,” Blinkbox CEO Michael Cornish said in a statement.

Indeed, last month Blinkbox made available the last season of “Game of Thrones” digitally — well ahead of its disc release next year — to strong demand. The digital offerings in standard definition ($28.77) and HD ($37.56) helped Blinkbox set a single-day (July 15) record for digital transactions.

“The customer’s the big winner here because there is such a huge range of choice — all at competitive prices, with great content available,” Russ Shaw, an analyst at Tech London Advocates, told Bloomberg.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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