Interactive middleware company OpenTV Corp. has had a hard time gaining traction
with U.S. cable operators, but its acquisition of Wink Communications Inc. for $101
million in cash may help to solve those problems.
The Wink deal was announced along with another OpenTV acquisition, that of
ACTV Inc. in a stock-for-stock merger. ACTV's interactive developments have primarily
been around interactive advertising and enhancements like camera-angle control
for a sporting event.
Liberty Broadband Interactive Television, which has a controlling
interest in OpenTV and owned ACTV and Wink, said the Wink portion of the deal
should be completed in the next few weeks, with the ACTV deal being completed by
the end of the year.
"OpenTV was well-positioned for middleware with a healthy balance sheet with
no debt," said Peter Boylan III, LBIT president and CEO. "But it had not made
enough progress in the United States with advertising and technology. ACTV and Wink will
help OpenTV to go a long way. And putting these companies together will
allow us to be uniquely positioned to offer the marketplace something others