Media mogul Tyler Perry is gearing up to launch a new streaming platform in conjunction with media conglomerate Viacom which will live on BET, one of cable’s premiere network aimed at producing content for the Black diaspora.
According to The Wall Street Journal the new service titled BET+, is slated to launch in the fall and will be available to customers for an unspecified price. Viacom executives expect it to cost more than $3.99 a month, which is the current cost of the company’s Comedy Central Now service.
Perry will spearhead much of the production content for BET+ including original movies and television shows, as he has a dominant financial stake in BET’s holdings. Perry’s participation is part of a five-year-contract that he signed with Viacom, the WSJ reports.
“BET+ will also include content from Mr. Perry’s Tyler Perry Studios production arm as well as shows and movies from Viacom sister networks MTV, Comedy Central and VH1,” the journal reports.
A commercial unveiling is expected to rollout this month during the network’s annual award show during a series of commercials, one of which Perry is expected to portray his famous Madea character.
“BET+ will be available on Apple and Android phones, Amazon Fire, Roku and Apple TV. Original content produced for the service would be exclusive to the service for 18 months, one of the people familiar with the situation said. After that, the content would be eligible to run on the BET cable channel,” WSJ writes.
The news comes on the heels of multiple rumblings that Viacom is in talks to merge with CBS, however a definitive timeline has not been formalized.
As streaming services become the wave of how consumers digest content, forging tv studios and creators with more freedom, it will be interesting to see what type of content Perry takes on in this new partnership.