[04/15/08 - 08:40 AM]
BET Networks Announces Partnership with Microsoft to Offer Top-Rated BET Programming on Xbox 360 Through Xbox Live
Offerings include "College Hill," "Iron Ring," "American Gangster," "Hell Date" and "Comic View."

[via press release from BET]

BET Networks Announces Partnership with Microsoft to Offer Top-Rated BET Programming on Xbox 360 Through Xbox LIVE

Shows Available for Download Include 'College Hill,' 'American Gangster,' 'Comic View' and More

NEW YORK, April 15 -- BET Networks today announced that it will add a broad selection of full-length BET television shows for download on Xbox LIVE, the online games and entertainment network on Xbox 360. Effective immediately, a growing catalog of episodes from BET's top-rated programming will be available for download from Xbox LIVE, including, but not limited to, COLLEGE HILL 4, AMERICAN GANGSTER and COMIC VIEW, with IRON RING featuring a free download of the premiere episode to consumers for one full week.

"This partnership is a natural fit for our audience. African Americans and particularly BET viewers significantly over-index in console gaming consumption," said Denmark West, President of Digital Media. BET Networks. "We are looking forward to providing on the Xbox 360 console the BET programming our audience has grown to love."

Establishing a partnership with Microsoft Xbox 360 provides a unique opportunity for BET to expand its target demographic through Xbox 360 and its dynamic online entertainment platform, Xbox LIVE.

Currently offering more than 4,200 hours of premium entertainment content from more than 40 studios and networks, Xbox LIVE Marketplace is the only game console offering downloadable movies and TV shows in high definition.

"By adding this popular programming from the BET library, our list of consumer favorites on Xbox LIVE continues to thrive," said Ross Honey, Senior Director, Media and Entertainment Group at Microsoft. "Xbox LIVE offers more than twice the on-demand high definition content than the leading cable provider and the addition of BET helps us provide our diverse community of users more of the premium entertainment content they want."

Every month, new episodes will be made available for download on Xbox LIVE (U.S. only) from popular BET series, including:

-- IRON RING - IRON RING introduces 'new jack' celebrities from music, sports and Hollywood to the most dangerous fighters in the world. An all-star line-up of celebrities will manage teams of fighters in the best mixed martial arts match-ups on television. From a steel ring above the arena, the celebrity 'owners' will interact with their gladiators between rounds - and sometimes right in the middle of them. Only the strong will survive! Headlining the show is boxing champ Floyd Mayweather (with the assistance of hip hop star Rick Ross) managing the Money Mayweather Boys, along with hip-hop heavyweights Ludacris and Nelly representing Team Luda and Team Nelly (respectively); T.I. with the help of Big Kuntry, Young Dro, DJ Drama and Alpha Omega leading Team Grand Hustle; Juelz Santana and Jim Jones heading Dipset; and Lil Jon with the Head Busters.

-- COMIC VIEW - BET's hilarious original series COMIC VIEW is known for its unparalleled reputation of breaking new talent and providing rising stand-ups with invaluable national exposure season after blockbuster season. See a spectacular line-up of comics with the signature enthusiasm that has made the show a hit among audiences for more than a decade.

-- HELL DATE - They say opposites attract. But when great dating expectations are challenged, compromised, then thrown out the window, a get together ripe with promise and fulfillment goes up in flames. You're on a HELL DATE. Watch as unwitting participants bare their all in the hopes of connecting with Mr. or Ms. Right-- until reality sets in. This is no ordinary dating show. Part reality, part romantic comedy, it's matchmaking with a devilish twist. HELL DATE is what happens when dream dates go terribly, terribly wrong.

-- AMERICAN GANGSTER - Chronicled by actor Ving Rhames, AMERICAN GANGSTER explores the life and times of some of Black America's most notorious crime figures. The show will explore without glorifying, and investigate without celebrating, these criminal-minded men and women. During each episode, the crimes of infamous Black figures such as Leroy Nicky Barnes, Freeway Ricky Ross, The Chambers Brothers, Fat Cat Nicholas and Stanley "Tookie" Williams will be put in the context of Black history as we see how their actions both reflected and corrupted the values of their community.

-- COLLEGE HILL - BET's hit reality series COLLEGE HILL is back on a new college campus, complete with fresh look and more drama than ever! While exploring the familiar themes of the black college experience and boy/girl relationships, the new cast turns up the heat in every imaginable way. Tempers fly, tears flow and secrets are revealed as the students show us what it's like to live under one roof with people of varying life experiences, sexual orientation and attitudes. "Real" student woes, wonders and everything that happens in between in the quest for higher education, it's all revealed on COLLEGE HILL.

More information about the great BET content being offered on the service is available at http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/marketplace/moviestv/?WT.svl=nav.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, 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 87 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 business 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 distribution.

  [april 2008]  


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