BET Networks has recently acquired the Soul Train franchise. Prior, it was owned by InterMedia Partners and Yucaipa Companies. Pioneering creator and host Don Cornelius, who operated the show under his Don Cornelius Productions company, sold to InterMedia and Yucaipa in 2008.
The popular and beloved music dance show featured predominantly African American talent and aired from 1971 through 2006. In 2009, BET began airing the Soul Train Awards as well as older episodes of the show.
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.
Although financial details of the acquisition were not made public, the deal reportedly includes numerous vintage episodes of the shows catalog.
You had this entire other world of black style and black music being beamed into houses every Saturday, Writer Nelson George, who wrote The Hippest Trip in America about the shows impact, told Rolling Stone in 2014. For a lot of people, this was the first exposure to a large spectrum of black life.