BET Gets Film-Package Deal With Weinstein


BET Networks has closed a deal with The Weinstein Co. that gives it first network-window premiere rights to a package of theatrical films, officials said Wednesday.

As part of the agreement, BET Networks has acquired the first position network-window rights to the full-length theatrical feature The Longshots, and soon-to-be-released films Soul Men and Hurricane Season, as well as a portion of the network window rights to The Great Debaters starring Denzel Washington.

The upcoming release Soul Men stars Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac as a formerly popular singing duo who go on a road trip to perform together one last time at the Apollo Theater.

Hurricane Season is based on a true story about a high school basketball coach played by Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker in post-Katrina New Orleans, who pulls together a team and a community.

“BET Networks is thrilled to enter into this partnership with The Weinstein Co. and their strong slate of films," said Stephen Hill, executive vice president of music programming & talent and interim head of entertainment for BET Networks. "Movies perform exceptionally well on our network, and with the addition of compelling and entertaining Weinstein films, we are confident that we will be giving our audience more of what they want."

In addition to acquiring the first position network-window for Soul Men and Hurricane Season, BET Networks will also be a promotional partner on both pictures. BET's 106 & Park will broadcast the show from the red carpet premiere of Soul Men at the Apollo Theater Oct. 28, and will re-name the show 106 & Soul Men for the night.

For Hurricane Season, BET will be airing a primetime special from John Ehret High School in Marrero, La., featuring a town hall discussion with students, real players, actors from the film and the filmmakers.