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Viacom Officially Announces BET+, New Ad-Free Streaming Service Launching This Fall

Stephanie Sengwe

Last night at the BET Awards, Viacom’s BET Networks, along with Tyler Perry Studios announced the launch of a new streaming service titled BET+ that is set to launch on the fall. The new video-on-demand service, which has been speculated for the last few weeks, will target African-American audiences, featuring more than 1,000 hours of content. Some of that includes original programming and catalog series, movies and specials from BET, Tyler Perry as well as other African American content creators.

BET+ will offer subscribers a collection of African-American focused dramas, sitcoms, films and specials. The ad-free service will also be the new home for Tyler Perry’s collected works across film, television and theatre.

“In our industry, the way people consume content is constantly evolving,” Perry said. “I’ve paid attention to my audience and what works for them and, for that reason, I’m very excited not only about the idea of partnering with BET to create new and exciting content, but also about the idea of giving people a personalized experience through the ability to curate the content they love to consume.”

The launch of BET+ further solidifies Viacom’s move into the streaming world. Its preceded by Viacom’s 340 million-dollar acquisition of Pluto TV, which took place in January. The free, ad-supported service offers viewers shows from MTV, CNN and Complex.

Viacom also launched its traditional linear networks—BET, Comedy Central, and MTV—on fuboTV and DIRECTV NOW in April. Then went on to launch 14 linear channels on Pluto TV with classic content from Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon. The media company also announced they will be launching a Spanish-language version of Pluto TV on July 1st.

BET+ will launch with a new original series titled, First Wives Club. The 10-episode scripted drama, written by Girls Trip writer, Tracy Oliver, is a remake of the 1996 revenge comedy starring Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton. The service will also launch with exclusive content from Think Like A Man director, Will Packer and Tyler Perry himself. Viacom also says they will add over 75 hours of new original content slated to premiere on BET over the next year.

While final pricing is not yet known for BET+ (Viacom currently charges $3 to 6 for their other premium streaming services like Noggin and MTV Hits), the new service will be available on all Android and iOS devices at launch as well as Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV .

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