You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

OpenTV’s IPO bows

Interactive TV company's shares skyrocket

Investors Tuesday tuned into OpenTV Corp.’s bow on Wall Street, sending shares of the interactive TV software provider skyrocketing up 180% to close at $56 after issuing a $20 per share IPO.

All eyes are beginning to turn to OpenTV, the latest player in what has become a crowded market to deliver interactive services to television set top boxes, letting network operators deploy interactive TV to a large number of subscribers without infrastructure upgrade costs.

Crowded market

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company’s accumulation of $150 million through the stock offering is expected to help the company position itself as a major competitor in the increasingly crowded market of interactive TV service providers.

OpenTV builds software that enables viewers to use a standard remote control to pull up sports stats, buy merchandise, purchase tickets, and bank online.

The company’s service is already a major player overseas, with over 4.5 million set top boxes deployed worldwide, mostly in Europe. Nearly 8 million homes worldwide use interactive services, with much of that use concentrated in Europe.

Echostar signs on

Echostar’s Dish Network has already said it plans to use OpenTV’s software in the U.S. early next year.

In Europe, OpenTV’s biggest competitor is Canal Plus in France, with about 3.5 million customers hooked up to its interactive satellite service. The company has also said it will cross over to the U.S. next year.

But in the U.S., OpenTV will have a tougher time gaining market share, going up against a slew of companies — including Microsoft Corp.’s WebTV, Wink Communications and Liberate Technologies — who are also deploying their own Interactive TV services.

But OpenTV has a portfolio of heavy hitters behind it, including America Online, News Corp., Time Warner and Sun Microsystems, which owns about 20% of the company.

The companies on Monday said they invested $31 million in OpenTV. Not surprisingly, they’ve also invested in rivals, hoping that one player will succeed in the future.

“This is a play on the future in terms of interactive television,” said Steven Tuen, an analyst at IPO Value Monitor. “I think OpenTV has a pretty good future ahead of them.”

“They provide the tools and the middleware that interactive elements will run on,” said Kevin Hause, an analyst at International Data Corp. “The idea is the ennoblement of interactive services. It is very important, and they are absolutely leaders in the space.”

OpenTV is an affiliate of Dutch firm MIH Ltd.

More Biz

  • Jon Platt Martin Bandier

    Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida Thanks Martin Bandier, Welcomes Jon Platt (Read)

    As outgoing Sony/ATV chief Martin Bandier (pictured above, right) finishes up his final week on the job, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida thanked him for his 12 years of service and welcomed incoming publishing CEO Jon Platt (above, left) who joins from Warner/Chappell. The letter, obtained by Variety and under the subject line “Warm wishes to [...]

  • iHeartMedia Strikes Multi-Year Deal With LiveXLive

    iHeartMedia Strikes Multi-Year Deal With LiveXLive

    iHeartMedia today announced a multi-year agreement with LiveXLive, a digital media company focused on live entertainment. According to the announcement, the deal combines content, production, distribution and promotion. The newly expanded partnership gives LiveXLive exclusive global livestreaming rights for 17 iHeartRadio marquee events this year, including iHeartRadio’s ALTer Ego, iHeartCountry Festival, iHeartRadio Wango Tango, Daytime Stage at [...]

  • Chinese Movie Ticket Giant Maoyan Loses

    Losses Reach $20 Million at China's Maoyan

    Reporting its first financial data since a February IPO in Hong Kong, mainland Chinese movie ticketing firm Maoyan saw its revenue grow by 47% to $560 million (RMB3.76 billion) in 2018. Net losses for the year grew from $11.3 million (RMB76 million) to $20 million (RMB134 million). Though the company also chose to present what [...]

  • Apple Event: Everything We Learned From

    Everything We Learned From Today's Apple Event

    After revealing new services in news, finance, and gaming, Apple CEO Tim Cook kept the biggest, most anticipated announcement until last. Cook, along with heads of worldwide video programming Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, and a whole group of Apple’s creative talents, presented the company’s new Apple TV+ streaming service, which is slated to [...]

  • Wynn Nightlife Announces Residency for Roving

    Wynn Las Vegas to Host Residency for Roving Spanish Party Elrow

    One of Las Vegas’ biggest music players is doubling down on the power of a global brand instead of just a single DJ to help them stay on top of Sin City’s increasingly competitive clubbing scene. Wynn Nightlife has announced a year-long residency and partnership with Spain’s Elrow, a respected Ibiza-born party that last year [...]

  • PledgeMusic Down to a ‘Skeleton Staff,’

    PledgeMusic Down to a ‘Skeleton Staff,’ Although a Potential Buyer Is in the Wings

    PledgeMusic, the direct-to-fan marketplace that has faced serious financial troubles in recent months, is down to a “skeleton staff” and payroll in the U.S. office ceased within the last month, sources close to the situation tell Variety, although a potential buyer is “very interested” in the company and has been in due diligence for several [...]

  • Michael Avenatti

    Michael Avenatti Arrested on Bank Fraud and Extortion Charges

    Attorney Michael Avenatti was arrested Monday and is facing federal charges on both coasts of bank fraud, misappropriating client funds, and trying to extort Nike. Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York allege that Avenatti tried to extract more than $20 million from Nike, and said that if the company did not pay him, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content