RealTime IT News

OpenTV Buys Spyglass

OpenTV grabbed Internet software maker Spyglass Inc. late Sunday in a stock exchange worth $2.5 billion.

Spyglass stockholders will receive 0.7236 OpenTV series A common shares in exchange for a single share of Spyglass.

The interactive TV firm, which specializes in set-top box software, said the deal will help traditional broadcasters add broadband and interactive services. In addition to snapping up Spyglass's clientele, OpenTV (SPYG) will use its products and extensive experience to offer digital interactive television to its clients and their viewers. Spyglass's clients include GTE Corp. (GTE), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Motorola Inc. (MOT).

Jan Steenkamp will continue as president and chief executive officer of OpenTV (OPTV). Spyglass Chairman and CEO Doug Colbeth will become executive vice president, corporate development of a newly formed wireless communications unit. Martin Leamy, Spyglass president, will become general manager of a newly formed consulting services business unit.

Steenkamp said the new entity will build on "Spyglass' strong foundation in the wireless communications market," where it will benefit from Spyglass's heralded Prism content transformation platform. Prism is a server-based product that reorganizes and reformats standard Web content to display on set-top boxes, mobile phones and other non-PC devices.

In another aspect of the deal, OpenTV had previously inked a partnership with EchoStar Communications Inc. (DISH) to bring personal video recording to the home. With Spyglass, the company will have the ability to develop and integrate Web browsing features into the OpenTV solution to enhance the viewer's interactive television experience.