BT hires new TV boss from Sky Italia

LONDON, April 7 Mon Apr 7, 2014 6:19am EDT

LONDON, April 7 (Reuters) - BT has hired a former BSkyB executive to lead its expanding television and sport business, an area where the two companies are battling for British customers.

Delia Bushell, currently chief commercial officer at Italian pay TV company Sky Italia, will join the company in July as Managing Director of BT TV and Sport, BT said on Monday.

She replaces Marc Watson who is stepping down after seven years and helped to lead BT's expansion into sports rights, challenging BSkyB's long dominance of the sector.

BT has spent heavily on sports rights as part of a strategy to defend its share of the home broadband and telephone market.

Bushell, 41, was BSkyB's director of broadband and telephony for five years from 2006.

"She helped Sky build a formidable triple-play base and I am sure she will help us to build on our strong success with BT TV and Sport," said John Petter, head of BT's consumer arm. ($1 = 0.6028 British Pounds) (Writing by Keith Weir; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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