BSkyB buys Acetrax video-on-demand service ahead of NOW TV launch

Sky's NOW TV service, which the company says is still on track to launch in the UK before the end of June, has received a major boost. The satellite broadcaster has confirmed in its latest earnings report that it has quietly acquired Acetrax, a video-on-demand service that already has apps on Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Toshiba TVs.

"On 25 April 2012, the Group acquired Acetrax, a small over-the-top (OTT) internet TV provider, which provides a transactional video-on-demand service to a wide range of internet-connected devices," says Sky of the buyout in its earnings report.

"The acquisition will support the continued development of Sky’s OTT activities and further strengthen relationships with connected device manufacturers and content providers."

It is unsure at this time how Sky plans to use Acetrax, whether it will be rebranded as NOW TV, or whether Sky will use the underlying technology to help it quickly improve its soon-to-be released video streaming offering.

With less than two months before the company's own self-imposed deadline, it is unlikely that Sky will be using much of Acetrax technology or user interface straight away, but certain features are bound to work their way across.

AceTrax will no doubt also be able to help Sky further develop the company's array of apps. As well as the aforementioned smart TV applications, the small company already has a presence on Samsung, Lenovo, Acer, Asus and Toshiba tablets and laptops.

What could be key however, is that it gives Sky, as they say, a leap frog into multiple devices straight away and plenty of ammunition against NOW TV competitors LoveFilm and Netflix.

What do you think? Has Sky bought Acetrax to help its NOW TV service? Let us know in the comments below...