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8/30/2005

 
BET Links With Wal-Mart in Ground-Breaking Urban Marketing Campaign for BET-Branded Entertainment Product and Retail Space in Wal-Mart Stores

Exclusive DVD Starring Hip Hop Sensation Kanye West is First BET-Branded Offering

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- BET, the most dominant brand in Black entertainment, and Wal-Mart, the world's leading retailer, are forming an unprecedented marketing alliance to meet the demand for urban-oriented music and movie offerings with BET content and branding. BET President and CEO Debra L. Lee and Wal-Mart Vice President of Merchandising David Porter made the joint announcement today at BET headquarters in Washington and Wal-Mart's global headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Under the alliance, BET will provide Wal-Mart with DVDs containing exclusive BET programming and other content related to featured urban-oriented music and movie releases. These DVDs will be packaged with the featured releases and sold as "BET Official(TM)" branded two-packs in BET-branded retail sections and other merchandising displays throughout thousands of Wal- Mart and SAM'S CLUB locations.

First to hit Wal-Mart stores on August 30 under the new BET Official(TM) brand will be a companion DVD featuring multi-talented, Grammy Award-winning rapper/producer Kanye West. The DVD will be paired with West's highly- anticipated new CD project "Late Registration" in a special CD/DVD two-pack available exclusively at SAM'S CLUB locations and Wal-Mart stores nationwide.

"This marketing and promotion alliance with Wal-Mart pairs BET's powerful brand and stellar content with trend-setting, urban-oriented music and movies to enhance Wal-Mart's appeal in urban entertainment product," said Lee. "Over the years, we've sought creative ways to deliver more BET programming content through retail channels. And what better way than combining the ultimate retailer with the greatest Black consumer brand on the planet."

"We're excited to be able to bring our customers some of the most popular music and movie titles in this category and our relationship with BET allows us to offer exclusive releases with award-winning artists," said Wal-Mart's Porter. "This is a relationship that will bring cutting-edge entertainment for customers of all ages."

The BET Official(TM) Presents Kanye West DVD contains BET-produced programming along with never-before-seen footage of the superstar rapper, producer and urban icon. Included on the DVD is a dynamic mix of content featuring the BET behind-the-scenes "docu-feature" ACCESS GRANTED(R) with West on the set of his music video Diamonds From Sierra Leone; West's interview and performance on 106 & PARK: BET'S TOP 10 LIVE(R), television's top music video countdown show; and a series of West's popular music videos including Diamonds From Sierra Leone, Through the Wire, The New Workout Plan, and a previously unreleased version of the multi-platinum and BET Award winning Jesus Walks. The CD/DVD package will retail for $13.88, and will be promoted through specially-designed BET-branded merchandising displays, print and electronic advertising, in-store promotions and other marketing executions.

"There are mutual wins for both BET and Wal-Mart in this relationship, and we're pleased to be working with a company that has already been a strong advertiser on our network for many years," Lee added. "There is tremendous flexibility in the structure of this arrangement and ample room for BET- branded product in other entertainment platforms and retail categories. The biggest beneficiaries ultimately will be BET viewers and Wal-Mart customers."

ABOUT BET

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 80 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 imprint, which also publishes compelling fiction under the Sepia imprint and inspirational fiction and nonfiction under the New Spirit imprint.

ABOUT WAL-MART STORES, INC.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAM'S CLUB locations in the United States. Internationally, the company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The company's securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting http://www.walmartfacts.com/. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com/.

Source: BET (Black Entertainment Television); Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

CONTACT: Michael Lewellen of BET, +1-202-608-2003,
michael.lewellen@bet.net; or Karen Burk of Wal-Mart, +1-479-273-4314,
Karen.Burk@Wal-Mart.com

Web site: http://www.bet.com/
http://www.walmart.com/
http://www.walmartfacts.com/




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