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DirecTV waves good-bye to Wink

Wed, 11/12/2003 - 7:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

Interactive television software and services company OpenTV said it has received notice from DirecTV that the DBS service provider will not extend its carriage agreement with Wink Communications, an OpenTV subsidiary.

The agreement, set to expire on Dec. 22, called for DirecTV to deploy Wink-enabled set-top boxes, which offered special advertising and programming offers to DirecTV customers. OpenTV said about $1 million, or 2 percent of the company's revenues for the nine-month period ended Sept. 30 were attributed to Wink's arrangement with DirecTV.

Speaking on DirecTV's decision not to renew the contract, OpenTV CEO James Ackerman said his company was "not prepared to renew our DirecTV agreement on terms that were neither economically viable nor in the long-term best interests of our company."

Still, Wink's "enhanced TV, interactive advertising" capabilities "remain important to our strategy to offer these services domestically and abroad," he said.

On the financial front, OpenTV posted Q3 revenues of $17.1 million, up 27 percent from the year earlier, and a loss of $5.8 million, narrowed from a loss of $17.1 million a year ago. OpenTV said its software and services were available in 48 million set-tops (20 million in the U.S.) by the end of the third quarter.

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