Two iconic brands in the black culture are joining forces. BET Networks a division of Viacom has acquired the Soul Train brand from InterMedia Partners and The Yucaipa Companies. In a move that makes the most sense for both parties involved comes at a time when BET is building its web-based programming and programming on its sister station Centric.
Back in 2009 BET re-launched the Soul Train Awards, and in acquiring the Soul Train brand, BET will be able to dig in the vault and have access to over 1,100 episodes of classic Soul Train.
In a statement, a BET rep explains what the acquisition means for the future of BET.
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.”