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TELUS CEO: Netflix a Threat, But Could Bundle With TV Packages Instead

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Canada’s major telecoms are increasingly viewing Netflix as a threat as more consumers shed away premium cable packages and opt for online streaming alternatives instead.

Bell Media and Astral argued to the CRTC their merger should be approved so together they can address “challenges to our business” from Netflix and create their own competitor. Earlier this week a report cited Rogers was set to create its own Netflix competitor to retain former customers.

As for TELUS? The company does not own any media or broadcast properties but that hasn’t stopped CEO Darren Entwistle from seeing U.S. Netflix as a possible opportunity, as opposed to a threat. He noted the following yesterday at the company’s annual general meeting (via Edmonton Journal):

“It’s a threat, but it’s also an opportunity for us without a shadow of a doubt,”

[…]

“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,”

Entwistle said TELUS could develop over-the-top applications to compete with Netflix and noted they would welcome being offered subscription models to be bundled into their TV packages. TELUS needs to “differentiate us from the competition, from the Netflix of this world in a meaningful way,” he went on to add.

TELUS says Acquiring a Newer Wireless Entrant Not a Necessity

With reports of TELUS in talks to acquire Mobilicity, Entwistle says acquiring a new network is not a necessity:

“Telus doesn’t need to do any acquisitions to realize its strategy. It’s not a must-do situation. It’s very discretionary.”

As of their 2013 Q1, TELUS eclipsed Bell to become the second largest carrier in Canada with 7.7 millions subscribers.

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