The BET Networks are acquiring the Soul Train brand, which was announced on Monday.
The Soul Train Brand’s assets include one of the largest libraries of African-American music-oriented content in the world, including over 1,100 television episodes and 40 television specials.
Owning Soul Train will allow BET to further build on the success of the Soul Train Awards, which BET re-launched in 2009 to strengthen the network’s commitment to original content.
Richard Gay, BET’s executive vice president of strategy and operations, hinted to a Broadway play and a concert tour as examples of Soul Train-related opportunities to come. The brand, whose series began syndication in 1971, has been acquired from InterMedia Partners and The Yucaipa Companies.
Gay said, “we look forward to finding engaging and smart ways to grow the brand while preserving its heritage and legacy in music, dance and fashion.”
This news also came the day before the network premiered their annual Black Girls Rock! Special which honored several celebrities including Rihanna, Gladys Knight, Shonda Rhimes, Amandla Stenberg, Danai Gurira, and the Black Lives Matters founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi.
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.
(Photo Credit: Ethan Miller for BET)