Olympics push BCE earnings higher

Canuck phone giant posts Q1 earnings up 60% to $608 mil

TORONTO -- The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver paid off for BCE Inc.

The Canadian phone giant on Thursday posted first quarter earnings up 60% to $608 million, on overall revenue up 3.8% to $3.75 billion.

Montreal-based BCE bet heavily on the recent Vancouver Games, delivering premium content across its TV and mobile platforms, including introducing Apple's iPhone device to its subscribers.

BCE signed up 55,625 new mobile subscribers during the first quarter as it promoted its wireless phone offering during commercials during Olympic event telecasts on its Bell TV satellite TV service.

Also on the broadcast side, BCE is to launch later this year 3D content through its Bell TV HD pay-per-view movie service

And BCE is to introduce Internet-based TV services in Toronto and Montreal, in competition with existing cable players Rogers Communications and Groupe Videotron.

BCE currently has just under 2 million video TV subscribers nationwide.

The phone giant also paved the way for its upcoming IPTV launch with roll-outs of higher-speed internet access services.