BET Networks Is Breaking New Ground With Hot Programming Now Available on iTunes Store

Dec 12, 2006, 00:00 ET from BET Networks

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The decision by BET Networks, the
 world's most powerful brand in Black entertainment, to make its hit
 television programming available for download and purchase on the iTunes
 store ( is generating lots of buzz with consumers.
 BET's new crime docu-drama AMERICAN GANGSTER is one of the ten
 most-downloaded cable TV shows on iTunes, and has garnered a four out of
 five star rating from iTunes users.
     AMERICAN GANGSTER is also a runaway hit on BET with an explosive
 November debut that made it the network's #1 original series telecast ever
 during the fourth quarter of any year. It is also this quarter's #1 weekday
 original series on cable among Black households, with more than 1 million
 Black homes tuning in for new episodes on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
 Narrated by multi- talented actor Ving Rhames, AMERICAN GANGSTER chronicles
 the rise and fall of the country's most notorious Black criminals and the
 terrible toll their actions levied on the Black community.
     "We are delighted that BET programming is now available on iTunes as an
 important element in BET's global digital strategy," said BET Networks
 Chairman and CEO Debra Lee. "As the world's most popular digital download
 store, iTunes is a key platform for serving our existing audience of
 African- American media super-consumers, and for introducing our
 breakthrough programming franchises to other audiences."
     Along with AMERICAN GANGSTER, BET offerings on iTunes feature
 star-studded and highly-rated programs including LIL' KIM: COUNTDOWN TO
 BET's adult- targeted companion channel BET J, THE CHRISTIES: COMMITTED.
 These BET shows can be purchased and downloaded for $1.99 per episode, and
 represent the first wave of BET content that will make its way to the
 iTunes store:
     * LIL' KIM:  COUNTDOWN TO LOCKDOWN -- The most-watched original series in
       BET history and this year's #1 new original series on cable in Black
       households, hip-hop diva Lil' Kim takes viewers on an emotional
       roller coaster ride during her final two weeks of freedom as she
       prepares to serve a prison sentence for giving false testimony to a
       federal grand jury.
     * BEEF:  THE SERIES -- Explore the conflicts that have captivated the
       public with an insatiable hunger for juicy celebrity controversy.  This
       hard-hitting original series features conflict between Lil' Romeo vs.
       Bow Wow; Houston's Northside vs. Southside (with Paul Wall, Slim Thug,
       Bun B, Pimp C and others); The Roc-A-Fella Records break-up (Jay-Z vs.
       Damon Dash); Dave Chappelle vs. Comedy Central; Oprah Winfrey vs.
       Rappers; Jay-Z vs. R. Kelly; The Game vs. Ras Kass; Jackie O vs. Foxy
       Brown; The Source Magazine vs. Kim Osorio; and many others.
     * BEST OF BET COMIC VIEW -- Television's longest-running cavalcade of
       stand-up comedians marches on with the most hilarious joke-makers from
       nearly 15 years of BET's primetime favorite laugh machine.  Catch some
       of today's hottest comics in the early years of their careers as well as
       celebrated veterans who were always proud to call BET home.  Major
       headliners in the series include D. L. Hughley and Cedric "The
     * DMX:  SOUL OF A MAN -- A top new cable series among Black households for
       2006, this BET original features DMX, perhaps the most notorious
       hardcore rapper in the music business.  But he's also a father,
       neighbor, friend and local citizen in the unlikeliest of locations --
       dry and dusty Carefree, Arizona.  Find out what tugs at his soul;
       touches his heart; and ignites his provocative, sometimes controversial
       rap lyrics.
     * THE CHRISTIES:  COMMITTED -- Is it marital bliss or the prototype of a
       "whipped" husband ruled by an overbearing wife?  You be the judge as NBA
       star Doug Christie and his strong-willed wife Jackie allow the cameras
       of BET's adult-targeted companion channel BET J to spotlight their
       infamous marriage.  It's an up-close reality series like none other.
     About BET Networks
     BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE:   VIA and VIA.B), is the
 nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public
 affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The
 flagship BET channel reaches more than 83 million households according to
 Nielsen Media Research, and can be seen in the United States, Canada and
 the Caribbean. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a
 diverse group of businesses extensions:, the Number 1 Internet
 portal for African Americans; BET Digital Networks -- BET J, BET Gospel and
 BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes;
 BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production
 company; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for
 the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, an
 urban entertainment mobile service, providing ring tones, games and video
 content for wireless devices; and BET International, an extension of BET
 network programming for global distribution.