BET Acquires ‘Soul Train’

BET Networks has acquired the Soul Train franchise from InterMedia Partners and The Yucaipa Companies. The Soul Train library includes over 1,100 episodes of the iconic series, 40 TV specials, and is “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,” said BET.

Terms of the deal were not revealed.

Created by the late Don Cornelius, Soul Train aired in syndication from 1971 to 2006, featuring performances primarily by R&B, soul and hip-hop performers.

"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," said Richard Gay, executive VP, strategy and operations. "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."

Cable net BET, which targets an African-American audience, is part of Viacom.

BET relaunched the Soul Train Awards in 2009.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the L.A. Times and New York magazine.