BET Acquires ‘Soul Train’ Franchise

According to Variety, BET Networks has acquired the “Soul Train” franchise from InterMedia Partners and Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies.  The deal includes more than 1,000 vintage episodes from the music and dance show that aired from 1971 through 2006. BET has aired the Soul Train Awards since 2009 and has aired older episodes of the show on BET and Centric in the past.  

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. “Soul Train” creator and host Don Cornelius was a pioneering African-American media entrepreneur who controlled all aspects of the franchise and was its on-air face until 1993. He sold Don Cornelius Productions in 2008 and died four years later.  “BET Networks is honored to have acquired a brand with such a rich history and unique content that is forever relevant to all segments of our audience,” commented Richard Gay, exec VP of strategy and operations for BET Networks. “With a Broadway play and a concert tour as examples of opportunities in the works, we look forward to finding engaging and smart ways to grow the brand while preserving its heritage and legacy in music, dance and fashion.”