What you need to know

  • Launching with over 1,000 hours of content for $10 a month.
  • A new original monthly, plus a huge catalog including "Martin" and Tyler Perry's stage plays.
  • Available on mobile and streaming TV devices right away, and web later this year.

One of the big benefits of streaming video is the ability for a wide variety of services to appeal to all audiences with diverse content. The largest services may do better than old media, but they've chased growth first by targeting the same viewers. A new service launching in a few days aims to change this, with minority creators making shows targeting black audiences, but everyone can enjoy them.

BET+ is a streaming video service with a focus on black culture and content from top African American creators. This cooperative effort of both Tyler Perry Studios and Viacom's BET Networks was announced in June, and now we are getting a ton more details.

The service will go live on Thursday, September 19, and start with over 1,000 hours of content, ranging from shows, movies, plays, specials and stand up comedy. BET+ also has two originals ready for day one. "First Wives Club" from Tracy Oliver, twists the classic comedy movie into a modern series starring Jill Scott. "BIGGER" will focus on a single black woman who rethinks her whole life after being faced with a painful personal loss. The series is from Will Packer, producer of "Ride Along", "Girls Trip" and "Think Like a Man".

BET+ is also planning a big move into comedy, including big news for fans of a legendary 90's mainstay. Available for the first time streaming exclusively, "Martin" is an iconic comedy series all about Martin, Gina, Tommy, Cole, Pam and Sheneneh. Lots of subscribers will be binging this funky entertainment. Also BET+ is preparing stand-up specials from legends including D.L. Hughley, Sinbad, Eddie Griffin, Nick Cannon and more.

BET+ is rounding out the library with an original from Tyler Perry, along with many of his stage plays. They'll also have classic BET series and specials like "Comic View", and shows from other Viacom networks including "Love & Hip Hop:Atlanta" and "Why? With Hannibal Buress".

We know a bit more about how you'll watch BET+, but not quite all the details. The press release says the service will "launch on mobile and connected TV devices" with web coming soon after. The BET Now app is available widely, so broad support is a good guess.

BET Networks and Tyler Perry Studios to debut BET+ Thursday, September 19

THE NEW PREMIUM SVOD PRODUCT WILL LAUNCH WITH MORE THAN 1,000 HOURS OF AD-FREE CONTENT INCLUDING ORIGINAL SERIES

"FIRST WIVES CLUB" FROM TRACY OLIVER and, "BIGGER" FROM WILL PACKER as well as TYLER PERRY'S COLLECTED WORKS ACROSS FILM, TELEVISION, AND the STAGE, fan-FAVORITE SERIES, Documentaries, MOVIES, SPECIALS AND MORE

NEW YORK, NY — Monday, September 9, 2019 — BET Networks, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), and Tyler Perry Studios today announced that, BET+, their joint venture and premier subscription video-on demand service, will launch in the U.S. on Thursday, September 19. For $9.99 per month, BET+ will feature more than 1,000 hours of premium content, including exclusive new original programming and fan-favorite series, movies, and specials from BET Networks, as well as a host of leading African American content creators, including Tyler Perry, Tracy Oliver, Will Packer and more.

"We are thrilled to offer a streaming experience of content curated for the underserved African American audience with BET+. African Americans have a higher SVOD adoption rate than any other consumer base on the market, which is why BET+ is a natural complement of BET's linear network, which has been and continues to be the leading home of black culture for decades," said Scott Mills, President of BET Networks.

"In our first year, we will release a BET+ original project almost every month, adding to our lineup of deep and diverse content," said Devin Griffin, General Manager BET+. "We're focused on super-serving lovers of Black stories by working with top talent, and supporting fresh new voices, on both sides of the camera."

BET+ will offer consumers an original and diverse collection of premier African American-focused dramas, sitcoms, film, stand-up comedy, and specials in the streaming universe. It will also be the official home of Tyler Perry's collected works across film, television, and the stage. BET+ programming will be ad-free, with new titles added on a monthly basis.

BET+ will launch with several FIRSTS including:

  • First time Jill Scott will star and Tracy Oliver will executive produce a new series for BET+ with "First Wives Club."
  • First time Will Packer will executive produce a new series for BET + with "Bigger."
  • First time original series from Tyler Perry to premiere on a streaming service.
  • First time the beloved comedy series "Martin" will be available on a streaming a service.
  • First time the iconic BET comedy series, "Comic View" will be available on a streaming service.
  • First time Tyler Perry's stage plays will be available to viewers on a streaming service.

Premiering at launch, BET+ will feature new exclusive original series "First Wives Club" – a nine-episode scripted drama from acclaimed "Girls Trip" screenwriter Tracy Oliver – and "Bigger"– a ten-episode series from Will Packer, blockbuster hit-maker of titles such as "Ride Along" and "Think Like a Man."

"First Wives Club," the modern television remake of the classic 1996 revenge comedy starring Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton, now stars an all-star African American cast including Jill Scott, Ryan Michelle Bathe and Michelle Buteau. After neglecting their friendship, best friends Ari (Ryan Michelle Bathe), Hazel (Jill Scott) and Bree (Michelle Buteau) reunite to help each other through rough patches in their lives. Together, they navigate music superstar Hazel's tabloid-ridden divorce, campaign manager Ari's unsatisfying marriage and orthopedic surgeon Bree's cheating husband. Along the way, the women learn that as long as they have each other, there's nothing they can't do. All episodes will be made available at launch.

"BIGGER," a half hour scripted comedy starring Tanisha Long, Angell Conwell, Rasheda Crockett, Chase Anthony, and Tristen Winger, takes place in the East Atlanta neighborhood, Little Five Points. The series follows a single-black-woman who is dealing with the threat of marriage to a boring-in-bed boyfriend and the sudden, random death of a college acquaintance. The tragedy drives her ambitious group of friends to take a deeper look at their stagnant lives, asking themselves— is there something bigger and better in life. The first three episodes of the series will be made available at launch with additional new episodes rolling out on a weekly basis.

In addition to its new original content, BET+ will become the exclusive SVOD home to the beloved comedy series "Martin." This is the first time "Martin" will be available on a streaming service.

BET+ will house Tyler Perry's box office-topping theatrical films, including films from the "Madea" series; original series and a selection of Perry's stage plays: "Meet the Browns," "Daddy's Little Girls," "Temptation: Confessions Of A Marriage Counselor," and more.

BET+ will offer a premium selection of African American TV, movie and musical content including BET's beloved library series, films, documentaries, and specials such as "The Bobby Brown Story," "The New Edition Story," "Real Husbands of Hollywood," "The Quad," "Being Mary Jane," "Love & Happiness: An Obama Celebration, " "College Hill," "Comic View," "Hell Date," "Keyshia Cole: All In," "Nellyville" "Reed Between The Lines," "Ali: People's Champ," "Katrina: 10 Years Later," "Killer Curves," "BET Awards," "Hip Hop Awards," "Soul Train Awards," "Black Girls Rock," "Boomerang," "Harlem Nights," "Baby Boy," "Belly," "Coach Carter," "Coming To America," "Higher Learning," "Losing Isaiah," "Poetic Justice," "Tina Turner Live In Holland," and more will be available at launch.

In the coming months, BET+ will also feature stand-up comedy specials from D.L. Hughley, Eddie Griffin, Nick Cannon, Sasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live), Lil Rel (Get Out), Gina Yashere (The Daily Show), Sinbad and more.

Library series from Viacom's Portfolio of BET sister networks, including VH1's "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta," "Basketball Wives," "T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle," Comedy Central's "Why? With Hannibal Buress", MTV's "Todrick," TV Land's "Soul Man," Nick @ Night's "Instant Mom," and more will also join the service.

BET+ will be available at launch on mobile and connected TV devices with a dedicated web experience coming later this year.