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Sky acquires Acetrax as it prepares for NOW TV launch

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Sky has completed the acquisition of Acetrax, a small European on-demand content provider to connected-TVs, as the firm prepares for the launch of its new NOW TV service.

In a statement alongside its financial results yesterday, Sky said that the acquisition of Acetrax will "further strengthen relationships with connected device manufacturers and content providers".

'AceTrax' screenshot


Founded in 2006 in Zürich, Acetrax offers video on-demand access to a range of movies on various device manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Toshiba. Acetrax estimates that its on-demand content app will be available on 60m connected devices by 2015.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Sky said that Acetrax had gross assets of £2.3m as of December 2011.

"Through the acquisition, Sky will add to its experience and expertise in online video streaming, to help complement its expanding OTT activities, which include Sky Go and the forthcoming NOW TV service," a spokesperson told paidContent.

"In addition to Acetrax's existing platform, Sky will also build on the existing relationships the company has established with connected device manufacturers and content providers."

The acquisition comes as Sky prepares to launch NOW TV, its new online TV service that will attempt to bring Sky content to current pay-TV abstainers, offering movies and football matches for streaming without subscription.

Sky said that NOW TV, announced in March, is "on-track" for launch in the first half of 2012. Alongside online, Sky said that it will look to bring NOW TV to other broadband-connected devices, including internet TVs.

'AceTrax' screenshot


"The growth of broadband-connected devices is opening up new opportunities to retail our content directly to additional consumers, and this service will sit alongside our current subscription pay TV service and be aimed at the 13 million UK households who do not currently subscribe to pay TV," said Sky.

"NOW TV will provide instant access to some of our most popular content with no dish and no contract required, and will be available on a wide range of devices.

"The service will initially offer access to our movie content but will soon expand to include sport and entertainment, with customers able to pay monthly or on a simple pay-as-you-go-basis.

"This will be a new way for us to appeal to consumers who love great content but may not want the full Sky service, while offering us another new opportunity for customer growth."

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