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BET Ponders Wrestling TV Deal

Black Entertainment Television is in discussions with professional-wrestling
outfit Urban Wrestling Alliance about telecasting a series of weekly UWA

BET officials confirmed that the network is talking with the south
Florida-based UWA -- which features a combination of pro-wrestling action and
rap music -- but they denied a report in the St. Petersburg Times that a
deal is imminent.

The outfit is run by Rocky Johnson, father of World Wrestling Federation
Entertainment Inc. star Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock, according to the

'We've had some preliminary discussions about formalizing an agreement with
the UWA, but any reports of a completed deal are premature,' BET spokesman
Michael Lewellen said.

If completed, BET would be the first cable network to televise
non-WWF-produced wrestling shows since Turner Network Television distributed
World Championship Wrestling events. TNT dropped WCW programming when the
organization was disbanded in March and eventually sold to

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.