MONTREAL — Instead of being viewed as only a threat, online movie service Netflix could be bundled in with TV packages, Telus CEO Darren Entwistle said Thursday.
Telus has "no regrets" about not owning any media or broadcast assets to provide the telecommunications company with content for TV, smartphones and tablets, Entwistle said after the company’s annual meeting.
"It’s a threat, but it’s also an opportunity for us without a shadow of a doubt," Entwistle said of U.S.-based Netflix which has about two million Canadian subscribers.
"We could potentially bundle Netflix as a part of a Telus solution. We could perhaps buy it on a wholesale basis and brand it accordingly," he said in an interview.
There’s also nothing stopping Telus from developing over-the-top applications to compete with Netflix, he added.
A number of Canada’s TV providers are offering on-demand services or developing platforms to compete with Netflix.
Bell wants to buy Astral Media in a revised $3.4-billion deal to use the shows and movies from the Montreal-based specialty, pay TV and radio company to compete with Netflix and other Internet-based TV and movie providers.
Entwistle said it’s important Telus have a game plan to deal with Netflix and similar competitors.
"If there are really people that want a subscription model for second-generation movies, why not us offer that and make it part of our package? " he said.
In its financial results released earlier Thursday, Telus raised its quarterly dividend and reported an increase in first-quarter profits from a year ago, helped by higher revenue.
— The Canadian Press