BET Networks is making the jump into the world of sports, officially teaming up with Roc Nation Sports as their exclusive broadcast partner to air live boxing events on the entertainment network.
This exciting collaboration is the first of its kind for BET with a lineup that includes airing up to nine live, two-hour telecasts of Roc Nation Sports throne boxing events over the course of the next 18 months. The premiere event fight will see feature WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Andre Ward (27-0, 14 KOs) take on World Title Challenger Paul Smith (35-5, 20 KOs) of England on Saturday, June 20, 2015, at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The fight will air exclusively on BET.
"I'm very excited to be coming back on June 20 at Oracle Arena in my hometown of Oakland, which has been a long time coming," Ward said of the upcoming fight. "I'm equally excited to be fighting on BET in front of a potential viewership of over 90 million homes... I'm ready to put this tremendous performance in front of my hometown fans and those watching BET. This is a fight you don't want to miss."
The telecast will not solely be limited to boxing events. According to the press release issued exclusively to BET.com, an overall fan experience, including ring-side entertainment, a live musical performance and DJ will all be available for enjoyment during the broadcast.
Roc Nation Sports, founded by Jay Z, is taking its partnership with the network to even greater heights by also airing the live action globally on TIDAL.com, the recently launched music streaming service that combines high-quality media experiences with curated editorial content.
"BET is constantly searching for ways to expand its portfolio of content with the sole goal of satisfying our audiences," said Stephen Hill, President of Programming at BET Networks, of the partnership. "Roc Nation is doing very exciting things in the entertainment space and we are excited to partner with them on this groundbreaking deal positioning BET Networks as a go-to destination for premier live-boxing events. Together, we'll provide unique entertainment."
David Itskowitch, COO - Boxing of Roc Nation Sports, echoed Hill's sentiment, going even further to explain the upcoming fight between Ward and Smith. "We're thrilled to not only be introducing our newest broadcast partnership with BET Networks, but also to use this new platform to telecast Andre Ward's highly anticipated return to the ring," he said. "On June 20, we will once again provide fans a night of exciting throne boxing fights, live musical entertainment and an unprecedented fan experience."
Ward vs. Smith, presented by Roc Nation sports, will air live on Saturday, June 20 on BET and will stream globally on TIDAL.com at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT.
(Photos from Left: BET Networks, Roc Nation Sports)