Skip to main content

BET, Tyler Perry Creating New SVOD Service

BET and Viacom are reportedly rolling out the welcome mat for prolific producer/director Tyler Perry in the form of a new subscription on demand streaming service, according to published reports.

The BET+ streaming service, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, would feature series and movie content from Perry as well as content from other Viacom-owned channels. Pricing for the service was not disclosed.

The network coincides with Perry’s teaming with BET beginning this year as part of an exclusive multi-year production deal in which Perry will produce exclusive, original drama and comedy series for BET, with Viacom holding exclusive licensing rights. Content on the new BET+ service would be exclusive for 18 months before moving to the linear BET channel, according to reports.

A source close to BET said the network is in talks on launching a new streaming service but could not confirm specifics.

“Tyler Perry’s coming is a drop the mic moment, and we’re all excited to see what he brings,” BET executive vice president and head of programming Connie Orlando recently told Multichannel News.

RELATED: Connie Orlando Talks Up BET Programming

BET+ would join other subscription streaming services targeted to African-American viewers, who watch more television than any other group, according to Nielsen. African-Americans spend more than seven and a half hours per day viewing video across all platforms, two hours more than the average viewer, reported Nielsen.

RELATED: African-Americans Dial Up Smart Phone Use 

The $4.99 per month Urban Movie Channel, founded by BET creator Bob Johnson and majority-owned by AMC Networks, offers acquired movies and original series targeted to African-American viewers, while Bounce TV’s $3.99 per month Brown Sugar service provides access to classic “Blaxploitation” movies like Black Caesar and Shaft from the 1970s as well as Bounce original series such as Saints & Sinners

Last month producer Lemmel Plummer announced plans to launch Black Box Faith, a subscription streaming service set to launch in the third quarter that will cater to faith-based African-Americans. 

The move would be Viacom's second big push this year into the direct-to-consumer marketplace, following its purchase this past January of Pluto TV. 

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.