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UPDATE ISP TalkTalk Shifts UK Off-net TV Only Customers to Rakuten TV

Thursday, April 12th, 2018 (7:51 am) - Score 9,235
TalkTalk Logo 2017

Broadband ISP TalkTalk has announced that their remaining base of “off-net” TV only (previously Blinkbox) customers, which may also include some broadband and TV subscribers that have not synced accounts, are having their TV service moved over to the third-party Rakuten TV platform.

Apparently these “off-net transactional customers” will be able to continue enjoying their previously purchased films and TV programmes as they become customers of Rakuten TV, although the announcement adds some ominous “where available” wording that could cause concern for a few people.

In digging a little deeper we found a short Q&A, which additionally states that: “Your content may be impacted. We will inform you of the details in due course. We are working with Rakuten to make sure that you have maximum availability of your library. In any instances this is not possible a fair compensation will be offered by Rakuten” (it’s unclear what approach they will take to calculating that).

The customer base in question is largely made up of those who do NOT take TalkTalk’s on-net broadband and YouView (IPTV) based TV service bundles, although it’s noted that a few bundled users could still be affected. The ISP simply states: “TalkTalk broadband and TV customers who were either former blinkbox users or TalkTalk TV Store users before they signed up to a TalkTalk broadband and TV plan may also be affected if they have not synced accounts” (i.e. your broadband won’t be affected but your TV service will shift to Rakuten TV).

Otherwise this change generally should not impact TalkTalk’s wider on-net broadband and TV subscriber base, save for the above exception. In any case the ISP said that affected customers would be contacted ahead of their migration to Rakuten TV. The switch itself is expected to begin soon and will then complete by no later than 31st July 2018.

In addition, TalkTalk added that existing users of Rakuten TV will be able to “merge” their libraries, albeit only provided that their TalkTalk and Rakuten TV accounts use the same e-mail address. We suspect that a small number of people might fall foul of this one but there’s still time for end-users to update their details.

The ISP claims that Rakuten’s platform is able to support more devices and “you’ll have the option to purchase titles in higher quality.

UPDATE 17th May 2018

Fast forward one month and today Rakuten TV has put out their own press release to confirm the development, which they claim will help them to become one of the leading platforms in video-on-demand, reaching over 3 million users in the UK.

Overall the announcement doesn’t add anything new to what we’ve already reported above but they did include a quote.

Josep Mitjà, COO and Co-Founder of Rakuten TV, said:

“We are delighted to grow the Rakuten TV business in the UK with this acquisition and are thrilled to provide this new cohort of off-net transactional customers with the ultimate home cinema experience which can’t be beaten elsewhere and with the latest cinema releases directly into homes. We are confident that users will love the choice in content and the quality in which they can experience cinema at home with Rakuten TV.”

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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17 Responses
  1. chrisp

    any indication of why this change is being imposed on these customers?

    • No but shifting off-net bases elsewhere is often something that occurs as a cost cutting move, enabling the operator to streamline itself around support for a simpler / centralised approach.

  2. Carole evans

    I was with talktalk nevery again you end up paying big money and don’t get the service don’t be fooled by advers

  3. Walkerx

    so does this mean that all UV Titles redeemed through BlinkBox/TalkTalk will be transferred to RakutenTV or will we lose them

  4. Ste barlow

    I don’t want to have them merged,. Do I get the option for the breach in my contract ?
    I use Rakunten serperatly in my network.

  5. H B

    As a “Blinkbox” customer, I only found out about this on Wednesday morning (16th May) as TalkTalk didn’t seem bothered to tell us any sooner. Seems it was a fait accompli as by today, Rakuten already ‘have control of my account’ and TalkTalk have washed their hands of it (no notification that they were passing on my information before they did it). I do not get a choice to refuse Rakuten’s T&Cs and get a refund on the licences-to-view-content I purchased on Blinkbox’s system. Rakuten does not have the same library, so some of that content is now lost and their idea of ‘compensation’ is their own proprietary “Superpoints”, which are apparently valued in pennies even within their own shopfronts. Feeling angry about this and that’s before having to get in contact with a company I have had no prior relationship with in order to close an account I did not want created (and that’s before the financial hit of the lost licenses).

    Am I reading too much into this to suggest that this ‘transfer’ seems to have been rushed in ahead of the impending GDPR enforcement next week…

    • DM

      Same here, I only got notice today, went through the transfer process and a good half of my tv series are not available, no information about how they work out their “fair compensation” for over £150 of lost content, which was supposedly mine for life — You own this series forever, it states on the invoice. I’ve complained to TalkTalk that I consider them in breach of contract and they should provide downloads we can store offline for non-transferable products.

    • Jim

      I lost all of the content I had paid for, only one series that I picked up on a freebie offer was actually transferred.

      I can’t remember how much I paid but 7 seasons of Dr Who was certainly not cheap.

  6. Patrick

    Hi everyone

    Please read the transfer agreement really carefully. You will note that by agreeing to it you waive your right to monetary compensation for any title that is unavailable and confirm you’ll be willing to accept Rakuten points instead.

    I have refused to do this and I am now awaiting a “tier 2” support team response as a result.

    • Matt

      Please can you report back if there’s any progress on that?

      I was an idiot and expected the SuperPoints to “fairly” reflect the same value as the lost content (which they ABSOLUTELY DO NOT) so it’s too late for me, but I’d still be interested to know their response…

  7. Anthony

    If like me you want to merge accounts but have different email addresses – change your existing Rakuten registered email to match your TalkTalk TV email. If you try it the other way you have to wait for TalkTalk to update Rakuten about the change before you can complete the transfer.

  8. Andy

    Very disappointing. I have lost around 22 films and several TV series due to the move. Strange, but most of the films I have lost seem to be recent releases and do appear to be available on Rakuten!! What is going on here? The ‘compensation is just a fraction of the cost of replacing these titles. What a con.

  9. Lisa

    I changed my email address months before this was even known to be happening, when I got the email I merged my accounts and my films never went over. Only to be told my old email address was the one ratuken had been given. To cut a long story short it is good that I had access to my old email as I recently received an email to that address saying I hadn’t transferred my titles! Great eh? Especially if you have changed you talk talk email months before this happened your going to have problems!

  10. B

    And if we don’t agree to rakutens t&c’s and don’t want an account with them, what happens? Does Talk talk need to refund my library as they’re in breech of contract? I purchased from TT based on their terms, I didn’t agree, nor do I want to use Rakuten……

  11. Wicked witch of the west

    I’ve lost all my films and all but one of my TV series. I am putting a curse on all those who thought this would be a good idea. Sweet dreams.

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