TCI and Partners Pull Plug on Ailing Zing Systems Ltd.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) _ Zing Systems Ltd., the interactive television company owned by Tele-Communications Inc. and three other partners, has filed a Bankruptcy Court plan to liquidate its assets and pay off its creditors.
Court-appointed trustee Janice Steinle took control of the company’s Englewood offices Wednesday and will preside over the liquidation under Zing’s filing under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Zing closed its doors in November, when it ran out of money and dismissed its work force of about 70 people.
Zing, headed by former MTV president John Reardon, was developing an interactive service allowing viewers to play along with game shows, order products, or participate in opinion polls through their home TV sets.
The company was controlled by a limited partnership consisting of TCI, Comcast Corp., Continental Cablevision Inc. and Newhouse Broadcasting Corp., and also had sought other investors.
Zing, however, was unable to compete for investment dollars at a time when many communications companies were backing away from interactive television.
While U S West and Time Warner are conducting interactive television trials, other companies such as Bell Atlantic and Pacific Telesis have scaled back or scrapped similar plans in favor of wireless cable TV.
Carl Eklund, who is representing the company in bankruptcy court, said Zing owes about $7.8 million to its creditors, including about $2.15 million to its largest creditor, Atlanta-based ESP, an engineering firm.