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Johnson to Start Regional Sports Network

3/09/2004 8:45 AM Eastern

Black Entertainment Television chairman and CEO Robert Johnson will start a new regional sports network in Charlotte, N.C., to support his National Basketball Association franchise, sources close to the situation confirmed Tuesday.

An announcement could come as early as Wednesday on the service, which is expected to televise games from the NBA expansion Charlotte Bobcats, in which Johnson owns a majority interest. The team begins play in October.

The new network may also include some entertainment-oriented programming, according to sources.

Johnson launched BET in 1980 and sold the network to Viacom Inc. in 2001 for $3 billion.

September