BET Networks Launches Home Entertainment Division Through Partnership With Paramount Home Entertainment *Constance Cribbs Knight Tapped to Lead BET Home Entertainment Division*

First Titles Slated for Release Include Wildly Popular Franchise 'College

Hill,' Cutting-Edge Documentary Series 'American Gangster' and the

Most-Watched Gospel Program in TV History, 'Celebration of Gospel: Taking

You Higher'



    HOLLYWOOD, Calif., May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- BET Networks, a division of
 Viacom Inc. (NYSE:   VIA and VIA.B), today announced the launch of BET Home
 Entertainment through a partnership with Paramount Home Entertainment, who
 will distribute BET original television programming, made-for-DVD titles
 and acquired content on a worldwide basis. Constance Cribbs Knight, who
 comes to BET Networks from Buena Vista Home Entertainment, has been named
 Vice President, BET Home Entertainment and will report to Byron Phillips,
 Executive Vice President, Entertainment for BET Networks. Knight will be
 based in Los Angeles, CA.
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070524/NETH080 )
     The first title released under the distribution agreement was
 "Celebration Of Gospel: Taking You Higher," the television event that
 premiered in January 2007 on BET and drew a record-breaking 2.5 million
 viewers to make it the #1 religious/gospel program in television history.
 The DVD debuted earlier this month.
     Among other titles slated for release in 2007 are some of BET's most
 popular programs, including reality series "College Hill," the successful
 franchise currently in its fourth season on the network, and the
 groundbreaking documentary series "American Gangster," which chronicles the
 lives of some of black America's most notorious crime figures.
     Through this partnership, direct-to-DVD content, including scripted
 comedy, drama and animation will also be developed.
     "We are excited about the launch of our Home Entertainment division and
 our partnership with Paramount Home Entertainment. This is a great
 opportunity for us to broaden our relationship with our audiences and comes
 as we continue the rapid growth of the network, increasing our output of
 original television programming and expanding into filmed entertainment,"
 said BET Networks Chairman and CEO, Debra Lee.
     "We are delighted to be partnering with BET to bring the network's
 highly successful programming to the DVD marketplace," said Kelley Avery,
 President, Worldwide Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures. "BET is a
 brand that is trusted by millions of consumers and we are extremely
 enthusiastic about extending the brand's reach through highly focused home
 entertainment releases."
     "Constance brings a wealth of industry expertise and is widely
 respected in the urban DVD space. Under her leadership, I am confident that
 BET Home Entertainment will thrive and deliver content that our audiences
 will love," said Phillips. "I am really looking forward to working with her
 and our great partners at Paramount, Kelley Avery and Meagan Burrows-their
 talent and track record speak for themselves."
     Cribbs Knight joins BET Networks from the Walt Disney Company's, Buena
 Vista Home Entertainment division where she oversaw the creation of
 marketing materials, promotions and content programming for the Disney
 Movie Club. Prior to that, she worked at New Line Home Entertainment where
 she managed the marketing budget and developed effective tactics and
 programs to create demand for the network.
     ABOUT PARAMOUNT HOME ENTERTAINMENT
     Paramount Home Entertainment (PHE) is part of Paramount Pictures
 Corporation, a unit of Viacom (NYSE:   VIA, VIA.B), a global entertainment
 company that produces and distributes filmed entertainment through the
 Paramount Motion Picture Group. PHE is responsible for the worldwide sales,
 marketing and distribution of home entertainment products on behalf of
 various parties including: Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks SKG, Paramount
 Vantage, Paramount Classics, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, CBS, PBS and
 Hasbro and for providing home entertainment fulfillment services for
 DreamWorks Animation Home Entertainment.
     ABOUT BET
     BET Networks, a subsidiary 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
 primary BET channel reaches more than 84 million households according to
 Nielsen Media Research, and can be seen in the U.S., Canada and the
 Caribbean. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a
 diverse group of businesses extensions: BET.com, a leading internet
 destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news.; 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, a service venture into the lucrative world
 of ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET
 International, an extension of BET network programming for global
 distribution.
 
 

SOURCE BET Networks

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