BET is the latest brand to jump into streaming.
The Viacom-owned cable channel is prepping a standalone streaming service, BET+, that would launch later this year, an individual with knowledge of the service confirmed to Variety. The service would be the home for Tracy Oliver’s planned “First Wives Club” series along with original content from Tyler Perry. No details on the pricing of the service are currently available, but it is said that it will include content from a number of Viacom’s cable brands and not just BET.
BET+ would be part of Viacom’s overarching digital strategy. The company recently purchased Los Angeles-based video streaming service Pluto TV for $340 million back in January. This would also be the latest attempt by a media conglomerate to shift its strategy toward streaming as the ratings for traditional linear channels continue to see serious erosion year-after-year. Disney will launch Disney+ at the end of the year, which will serve as the home to all Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and “Star Wars” content. WarnerMedia is also prepping their own service for the fall, while Comcast will have its own service in 2020. Tech giant Apple will also have original series on its own streaming service, Apple TV+, that is supposedly launching in the fall. All of this will be on top of existing streamers like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.
This marks the fourth home for Oliver’s “First Wives Club” series. The project, based on the film and book of the same name, was originally set up at TV Land before moving to Paramount Network. It then moved to BET back in November. When Paramount Network launched, it also acquired TV Land shows “American Woman” and “Nobodies,” both of which have since been cancelled. “Younger” was originally to air its sixth season on Paramount Network before being moved back to its original home on TV Land.