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BET Media to license Tyler Perry shows to other services

Eight series will be offered to subscription-based and ad-supported streaming services.

Eight series will be offered to subscription-based and ad-supported streaming services.

Actor and comedian Tyler Perry.
Actor and comedian Tyler Perry. (Photo by Sgt. Michael Connors, United States Army)

BET Plus, Paramount’s streaming joint venture with actor-comedian Tyler Perry, will offer more than a half-dozen of its original television series to other streaming services for the first time.

The announcement was made at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday, and was first reported one day earlier by the entertainment trade publication Variety.

The strategy will see BET Media, the operator of BET Plus, offer eight Tyler Perry-backed shows to other subscription-based and advertisement-supported streaming services. Shows that are part of the plan include “Sistas,” “The Oval,” “House of Payne,” “All the Queen’s Men” and “Zatima,” among others.

“In 2017, we began our historic partnership with Tyler Perry, and every year since his content arrived, BET has driven growth across our ecosystem,” Scott Mills, the President & Chief Executive Officer of BET Media Group, said in a statement. “To date, the Tyler Perry portfolio of content is among the highest-rated programming among Black Americans on television. Our offering of Tyler Perry’s expansive library of hit series will offer third-party platforms a unique opportunity that will increase retention and super-serve viewers like never before.”

Paramount Global Content Distribution will coordinate the delivery of the Tyler Perry shows to market. It was not immediately clear if Paramount, BET Media or Perry had spoken with any interested parties about the catalog, or whether any preliminary deals were in place.

Some of the shows have screened in limited capacity on BET and BET Her, Paramount’s linear cable channels, where they are among some of the most-watched television programming among Black audiences, according to Paramount.

The strategy to offer some of Perry’s original series comes at a time when Paramount is increasingly looking for ways to generate more revenue from its streaming businesses, which include its flagship service Paramount Plus and the ad-supported Pluto TV. It also coincides with reports that Paramount is once again exploring a possible sale of BET Media, which has generated some interest among media-focused companies.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).