BT's new TV sport channels underpinned record fourth quarter consumer revenues, helping the UK telecoms group to ring up higher annual profits.
BT said its BT Sport and ESPN channels, which show 38 Premier League games a season plus other sport, helped the group's consumer division to lift fourth quarter revenue by 9% to £1.07bn and the lowest landline losses in more than five years.
The group, which is using sport to push its broadband services to consumers in the face of competition from rivals BSkyB, Virgin Media and TalkTalk, said it achieved a 79% share of broadband market net additions in the quarter.
Chief Executive Gavin Patterson told journalists in a conference call that strong demand for BT Sport had put its call centres under pressure and it was recruiting more people in the UK to handle the extra traffic.
He said the company was also trying to improve the response of its Openreach infrastructure business to customers by adding more engineers and equipment.
BT is planning to roll out a mobile product for business users before the end of its first quarter and a consumer product later in the year.
The company has run a fledgling service for businesses and its own staff using Vodafone's network, but is replacing that with a 4G-capable service from Orange and T-Mobile group EE in a deal signed in March.
Its move into mobile would be BT-branded and would build on its wi-fi inside and outside premises as well as the EE deal, it said.
Patterson said BT's wif-fi covered 5.4m UK premises, adding: "When you put all those things together, you can be very competitive."
Group pre-tax earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation in the year to March 31st were flat at £6.1bn but adjusted pre-tax profit rose 6% to £2.8bn. Adjusted earnings per share for the year lifted 7% to 28.2p.
The company said it was hiking its full year dividend by 15% to 10.9p and expects to increase its dividend by 10%-15% in each of the next two years.
BT's global services arm, which serves big businesses, governments and public organisations, has been overhauled to iron out problems and increased orders by 9% and double-digit revenue rises in high-growth regions.
Patterson said: "These results provide a strong platform for growth from which to achieve our outlook for the years ahead."
By 10:27 in London, shares
in BT had risen 10.7p or 2.8% to 387.5p.