BET+, the subscription video-on-demand service from Viacom’s BET Networks and Tyler Perry Studios, now has a launch date and a price.
The ad-free service, which Viacom first announced in June, will debut on Thursday, Sept. 19, and will cost $9.99 a month, the company announced Monday.
“We are thrilled to offer a streaming experience of content curated for the underserved African American audience with BET+,” Scott Mills, president of BET Networks, said in a statement. “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.”
The service will be home to about 1,000 hours of content when it debuts, including programming from BET Networks and films, television programs and plays from actor and director Tyler Perry. Screenwriters and directors Tracy Oliver and Will Packer are among the talent tapped to produce original series for the service.
The first originals to premiere will include First Wives Club, a nine-episode remake of the 1996 comedy film being headed by Oliver, and Bigger, a 10-episode scripted comedy following a group of friends as one navigates a personal tragedy from Packer. The service will debut one original programming project nearly every month in its first year of operations, said Devin Griffin, general manager of BET+.
The streaming service will also feature a number of original comedy specials from comedians like D.L. Hughley, Nick Cannon and Sasheer Zamata, the company said.
The service will be available to view through connected TVs and mobile devices, but will not immediately be available to stream on the web. The company said it was working on building out a dedicated web experience “later this year.”
The ad-free subscription video service is a cornerstone of a broader streaming video strategy from ViacomCBS, which is building out more niche subscription video services while also diving into ad-supported streaming with Pluto TV and CBSN that are intended to have mass appeal.
BET+ comes down the pike just before a number of other highly anticipated streaming services are slated to debut, many of which also have “plus” in their name. Disney+, a streaming service centered on family-friendly programming, is slated to debut Nov. 12 for $6.99 a month. Apple’s streaming service Apple TV+ does not have a launch date or an announced price, but the company has said it will debut sometime this fall.