Bell Atlantic plans to use the BET (Black Entertainment TV) brand to get African-American phone users in the D.C. area to buy extra features like cell phones, pagers, voice mail and Internet access.
“We’re going to try to find out what kind of value the BET brand may have in reaching out to the black community in our service area,” said a spokesman for Bell Atlantic Plus, the subsidiary that focuses on optional services for residential customers of the company.
Michele Moore, VP of media relations for BET, said, “We’re creating a research model to test African-Americans on the services they’re interested in, how these services can be packaged and what prices” Bell Atlantic might charge. The BET cable network reaches 53 million cable subscribers.
The marketing deal with Bell Atlantic is another in a continuing line of BET joint ventures, like the one with Microsoft for a BET-branded Web site on the Internet. BET and Walt Disney Resorts are also partners in a BET Sound Stage Club at Disney’s Pleasure Island in Orlando. BET is involved with Hilton Hotels in setting up a Sound Stage hotel and casino in Las Vegas.