BET Networks Acquires Soul Train

BET Networks has acquired iconic music/entertainment brand Soul Train from InterMedia Partners and The Yucaipa Companies, the network said Monday.

The acquisition includes more than 1,100 episodes of the Soul Train R&B music variety series -- which was created and hosted by the late Don Cornelius and ran in syndication from 1971-2006 -- as well as 40 television specials, according to BET Networks officials.

BET Networks' Centric service currently airs the Soul Train Awards.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

BET Networks will look to expand the Soul Train brand to create other ancillary revenue opportunities ranging from live events to consumer products, according to network officials.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

R. Thomas Umstead

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.