BET and Viacom are reportedly rolling out the welcome mat for prolific producer/director Tyler Perry in the form of a new subscription on demand streaming service, according to published reports.
The BET+ streaming service, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, would feature series and movie content from Perry as well as content from other Viacom-owned channels. Pricing for the service was not disclosed.
The network coincides with Perry’s teaming with BET beginning this year as part of an exclusive multi-year production deal in which Perry will produce exclusive, original drama and comedy series for BET, with Viacom holding exclusive licensing rights. Content on the new BET+ service would be exclusive for 18 months before moving to the linear BET channel, according to reports.
A source close to BET said the network is in talks on launching a new streaming service but could not confirm specifics.
“Tyler Perry’s coming is a drop the mic moment, and we’re all excited to see what he brings,” BET executive vice president and head of programming Connie Orlando recently told Multichannel News.
BET+ would join other subscription streaming services targeted to African-American viewers, who watch more television than any other group, according to Nielsen. African-Americans spend more than seven and a half hours per day viewing video across all platforms, two hours more than the average viewer, reported Nielsen.
The $4.99 per month Urban Movie Channel, founded by BET creator Bob Johnson and majority-owned by AMC Networks, offers acquired movies and original series targeted to African-American viewers, while Bounce TV’s $3.99 per month Brown Sugar service provides access to classic “Blaxploitation” movies like Black Caesar and Shaft from the 1970s as well as Bounce original series such as Saints & Sinners.
Last month producer Lemmel Plummer announced plans to launch Black Box Faith, a subscription streaming service set to launch in the third quarter that will cater to faith-based African-Americans.
The move would be Viacom's second big push this year into the direct-to-consumer marketplace, following its purchase this past January of Pluto TV.