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U.K Supermarket Tesco Moves into Video on Demand With BlinkBox Deal

The world's No. 3 retailer has acquired 80% of the VOD firm in bid to take on Amazon's LoveFilm.

LONDON -- U.K. supermarket giant Tesco, the world's No.3 retailer, has bought a majority stake in British video-on-demand firm blinkbox, a day after it pledged to up its game by revamping its products and becoming more innovative, according to The Guardian.

The group said on Wednesday it had bought an 80% stake in blinkbox from private equity firms Eden Ventures and Nordic Venture Partners for an undisclosed sum.

Tesco, which on Tuesday reported profits of $6.23 billion, said the acquisition of the five-year-old U.K. VoD business would help position the business for "the next stage in the Internet-driven revolution in home entertainment".

The retailer already has a huge operation selling physical DVDs. However, Richard Brasher, chief executive of Tesco's U.K. operation, said it needed to exploit the growing consumer demand for accessing VoD content online in multiple formats and on different devices.

"Whether customers want to own the DVD, download a digital movie, stream a rental or all three, Tesco is committed to giving customers choice," he said. "We want to allow them to decide how they access entertainment content and on which devices, whether it's on PC, TV or tablet."

BlinkBox offers more than 9,000 films and TV shows available on devices including the PC, Macs, the PS3 console, tablets and Internet-enabled TVs.