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
"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.
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
SOURCE BET Networks