BET Networks, a division of Viacom (Nasdaq: VIAB, VIA), today announced it has acquired Soul Train from InterMedia Partners and The Yucaipa Companies. See the network’s release below.
The acquisition, which brings together two quintessential African American brands, represents an investment in an iconic franchise that uniquely lends itself to providing fans with a wide range of experiences across multiple platforms, beyond the television programs that audiences have enjoyed for decades. The transaction serves to further strengthen BET’s investment in content and underlines the network’s leadership in music-related content.
Owning Soul Train’s intellectual property will allow BET to further build on the success of the Soul Train Awards, which BET re-launched in 2009, and strengthens the network’s commitment to original content. The assets acquired 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. Beyond television, BET will grow the ways in which audiences of all ages are able to interact with this iconic brand, creating a host of ancillary revenue opportunities ranging from live events to consumer products.
“BET Networks is honored to have acquired a brand with such a rich history and unique content that is forever relevant to all segments of our audience,” commented Richard Gay, Executive Vice President, Strategy and Operations at BET Networks. “With a Broadway play and a concert tour as examples of opportunities in the works, we look forward to finding engaging and smart ways to grow the brand while preserving its heritage and legacy in music, dance and fashion.”