BET, Cox Communications Renew Carriage Deal Through 2009
TO BUSINESS, RADIO-TELEVISION AND ENTERTAINMENT EDITORS:
WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- BET and Atlanta-based cable television operator Cox Communications have announced the renewal of their distribution relationship for BET and BET Jazz Network programming. The new agreement takes effect January 1, 2004 and runs through December 31, 2009. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"This sends a solid signal of Cox Communications' continued commitment to quality programming targeted to the African-American audience," said Debra L. Lee, BET President and Chief Operating Officer. "BET and Cox have enjoyed a great programming relationship since BET's launch over 20 years ago, and we look forward to serving Cox's six million-plus subscribers with dynamic programming."
This agreement covers Cox's 6.3 million subscribers in such major markets as Las Vegas, Phoenix, New Orleans/Baton Rouge, San Diego, Oklahoma City and the Hampton Roads, Virginia area.
"We're pleased to renew our agreement with BET and we look forward to BET continuing to enhance the value of its programming for their viewers and our customers," said Bob Wilson, Vice President, Programming for Cox.
Cox is the second major cable operator to renew carriage of BET. Earlier today, BET parent company Viacom announced a sweeping distribution contract with Comcast that covered all of Viacom's cable network properties including BET and BET Jazz.
ABOUT COX COMMUNICATIONS
Cox Communications (NYSE: COX), a Fortune 500 company, is a multi-service broadband communications company serving approximately 6.6 million total customers, including 6.3 million basic cable subscribers. Cox is the nation's fourth-largest cable television provider, and offers both traditional analog video programming under the Cox Cable brand as well as advanced digital video programming under the Cox Digital Cable brand. Cox provides an array of other communications and entertainment services, including local and long distance telephone under the Cox Digital Telephone brand; high-speed Internet access under the brands Cox High Speed Internet and Cox Express; and commercial voice and data services via its affiliate Cox Business Services. Local cable advertising, promotional opportunities and production services are sold under the Cox Media(SM) brand. Cox is an investor in programming networks including Discovery Channel. More information about Cox Communications can be accessed on the Internet at www.cox.com.
BET, a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc. (NYSE: VIA; VIA.B), is the nation's leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs programming for the African-American audience. The BET Network reaches more than 78 million households according to Nielsen media research, and can be seen in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. BET is a dominant consumer brand in the urban marketplace with a diverse group of branded businesses: BET.com, the Number 1 Internet portal for African Americans; BET Digital Networks - BET Jazz, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, specializing in a full range of event production services, including event management, venue selection, talent recruitment, sound, lighting and stage production; and BET Books, the nation's leading publisher of African-American themed romance novels under the Arabesque Books label, and publisher of new imprints Sepia and New Spirit.
SOURCE BET (Black Entertainment Television)