Media Giant Happy To Acquire Video Channel That Still Plays Videos
Viacom is gearing up to welcome BET Holdings into its fold. The media giant confirmed its plans to buy the urban media and entertainment company for $2.5 billion in stock.

The deal, announced in a joint statement Friday (11/3), also calls for Viacom to assume about $500 million in BET debt, bringing the total value to $3 billion in stock and debt.

BET Chairman and co-founder Robert Johnson and BET President and COO Debra Lee will retain their positions in the privately held network. They'll report to Viacom President and Chief Operating Officer Mel Karmazin. BET will remain based in Washington, DC.

Said Karmazin in a prepared statement: "This accretive transaction is a major step forward in our strategy to expand in the fastest-growing media industry segments and will immediately benefit shareholders, as well as broaden our already formidable presence as the largest national and local platform for advertisers."

BET Holdings includes Black Entertainment Television, The Cable Jazz Channel, BET International, BET Books and BET.com. Viacom already owns MTV and VH1.

The deal is expected to close early next year.