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