BT has struck a deal with Netflix to allow its TV customers to subscribe to the US TV and film streaming service via their phone and broadband bill.
Recent weeks have seen a flurry of rumours that Netflix is due to launch on YouView, the DTT/internet hybrid TV platform backed by BT, TalkTalk and the UK’s biggest broadcasters.
In its latest financial update, BT said: “We continue to focus on strengthening our TV proposition and are excited to announce we have entered into a partnership with Netflix that will allow our customers to sign up for Netflix alongside our other products and services, with the added convenience of paying on one bill directly through BT.”
The firm’s TV service, which added 38,000 new subscribers in the three months to September, helped pushed average revenue per user (ARPU) in its consumer division up by 7% to £404.
BT also announced that just over a third of residential broadband customers now take its fibre-based, Infinity service which offers higher speeds than traditional copper services.
The ISP added 203,000 fibre connections, taking total installations to over 2.5m – 34% of its retail broadband customer base.
However its overall share of new broadband customers was down on recent quarters, with the firm taking 48% of all new connections.
BT blamed the fall on “strong promotional activity in the market.”
Increasing adoption of tablets and smartphones led to a surge in BT Wi-fi usage to 14.9bn minutes – more than double the previous year’s figure. The service is provided free to broadband customers and is also available as a paid-for product.
Chief Executive, Gavin Patterson, said: “Our Consumer business continues to perform well thanks to the impact of BT Sport where Premier League audiences are up around 45 per cent on average.
“Fibre is also driving growth with one in three of our retail broadband customers enjoying super-fast speeds.”
Patterson also announced that more than 21m homes are now capable of receiving its wholesale fibre broadband service, although just 16% of eligible homes currently do so.
Speaking to journalists, Patterson admitted the firm had “deprioritised” its wider TV strategy as it focused on launching and growing BT Sport.
However he suggested this would change in the coming months as the firm launched new features and content and “put more focus” on its offering.
On BT Sport he said it would be “unrealistic” to expect premier league coverage to remain free if they took the majority of rights at the next auction.
He added that “significant” numbers of people pay for the HD BT Sport pack and that more were keeping their subscriptions live throughout the year than had been expected.