Looks like those paper-bag puppets have something new to talk about. Cable industry leader Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is acquiring movie-ticket site Fandango for an undisclosed amount.

Fandango, when merged this summer with a new entertainment site, Fancast.com, will permit consumers to find and manage their entertainment choices across a variety of platforms, including television, computers, and wireless services. Fandango will essentially be a key component of Fancast, providing commerce capabilities for interactive media sites, and thereby likely increasing Comcast's traffic and revenue.

The Fandango acquisition is being hailed as Comcast's response to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube purchase or Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes download service. But for a broader perspective on the real promise this deal fulfills, we've got to flash back a few years more.

Early in this decade, a publicly traded, California-based company called Wink (along with several private competitors) produced technology that would have permitted cable subscribers to buy items, such as pizzas, DVDs, clothing -- or perhaps theater tickets -- via their TVs and cable remotes.

Much like cable's now-popular triple-play packages, and even video on demand, the interactive capability that Wink promised finally seems to have arrived. And with the benefit of a few more years of technological development, it'll have the kind of multiplatform capability that Wink and its generational ilk would have lacked.

I used to describe the cable operators as glacial in their unwillingness to adopt new technologies. Once they've got it right with a given functionality, they'll gladly add another -- but not before the first new development is performing nearly perfectly. So with the triple play doing well, and VOD having matured, it's clearly time for Comcast to add expanded interactivity and its related commercial opportunities. Fancast and Fandango may simply be the first examples of their willingness to do so.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He welcomes your questions or comments.