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BET Sets New Boxing Series

Black Entertainment Television is the latest cable network to step into the ring with a new boxing series.

The network will televise live Roc Nation Sports throne boxing cards beginning June 20 with the Andre Ward-Paul Smith fight for Ward’s WBA Super Middleweight championship, according to network officials. Overall BET plans to televise nine live boxing cards over the next 18 months, said network officials.

Along with the fights, the events will feature live musical performances and a name DJ to play music throughout the telecast, said the network.

“BET is constantly searching for ways to expand its portfolio of content with the sole goal of satisfying our audiences,” said Stephen Hill, President of Programming, BET Networks in a statement. “Roc Nation is doing very exciting things in the entertainment space and we are excited to partner with them on this groundbreaking deal positioning BET Networks as a go-to destination for premier live boxing events. Together, we’ll provide unique entertainment.”

BET joins a growing list of cable and broadcast networks launching live boxing series in 2015 in what is turning into a renaissance for boxing on television. Broadcast networks ABC and CBS along with cable networks ESPN and Spike have teamed with Premier Boxing Champions to create primetime and weekend afternoon fight telecasts, while TruTV has partnered with Top Rank Inc. for a slate of live Friday night boxing events.

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.