BET + MTV x Soul Train – BETJ = Centric, Viacom’s Newest Afrocentric Offering

There’s a new player in town vying for the attention of the coveted 25 to 54-year-old demographic, but with a decidedly multicultural, “throw-back” lean. CENTRIC, launched on September 28, 2009, is the newest baby under the Viacom bonnet.
Forged out of a partnership between BET Networks and MTV Networks, the 24-hour entertainment channel offers a menu of programming options tailor-made for the African-American and multicultural audience, including original programming, reality shows, classic movies, music videos and marathons of Soul Train and Fame reruns throughout November.

CENTRIC is the fourth manifestation of the BET on Jazz aka BET Jazz aka BET J channel, a BET offshoot launched in 1996 originally created as a channel for jazz purists. CENTRIC is more general-interest and caters to the African-American adult, leaving BET to focus on the teenage demographic.

Another interesting tidbit – the company now owns the rights to Soul Train, all of the reruns and the awards shows, which means the return of the Soul Train Awards. The two-hour special was taped on November 3 in Atlanta and is set to premiere on November 29 with hosts Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard.


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