BT will continue to differentiate its TV offering through the acquisition of exclusive sports rights, its CEO has said.
Gavin Patterson told Mobile World Congress that the UK-based operator remained committed to owning its own sports programming, two weeks after it spent £895 million to renew English Premier League football.
BT will look to collect more sports rights in the future, Patterson added, without expanding on what it might acquire.
However, he ruled out investing in other types of exclusive content such as films, saying BT's proposition there is “more of an aggregator”.
Patterson said that while sports content draws its strength with a local audience, entertainment had increasingly moved to a “global marketplace” thanks to the influence of OTT players.
“Netflix and Amazon have become real players in drama and movies,” he said.
“As a provider only focused on the UK we can’t compete for the biggest new dramas as they can.”
He claimed that denying customers services such as Netflix and Amazon would be “ridiculous” and that the operator viewed such companies as partners rather than rivals.
“We’re lucky, we can embrace Netflix," he said.
In a swipe at rivals, he added: "We’re not trying to defend an entertainment bundle in the same way others are.”
Patterson claimed the UK operator plans to serve as a “super-aggregator” of traditional broadcast and OTT content.
He said BT’s strength would continue to be in bundling content in an “easy-to-use” interface and using its network to deliver high quality audio and video.