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Monday, March 17, 2008

Tune-In Highlight Consideration ... Let The Games Begin

Courtesy of BET Networks:

BET Steps Out of the Box and Into the Worlds Of Poker and Mixed Martial Arts on Tuesday, March 18

Eddie Murphy, Anthony Anderson, Melyssa Ford, Orlando Jones, Mekhi Phifer, Floyd Mayweather, Ludacris, Nelly, T.I., Juelz Santana and Lil Jon Featured In Both Original Series

NEW YORK, March 17 -- It's game night on BET with the premieres of two new original series, BLACK POKER STARS INVITATIONAL and IRON RING. On Tuesday, March 18, beginning at 10:30 PM*, these two half-hour series highlight the biggest celebrity trash talking poker players in Hollywood and the high stakes and competitive drive infused in a celebrity managed mixed martial arts fighting competition.

At 10:30 PM*, BET raises the stakes with BLACK POKER STARS INVITATIONAL. Hosted by actor and funny man Katt Williams and the self-proclaimed "Black Robin Leach" Kenny Burns, celebrity poker players Anthony Anderson, Nelly, Kevin Hart, Miguel Nunez Jr., Eddie Griffin, Orlando Jones, Faizon Love, Eva Pigford, Wood Harris (HBO's The Wire), Al Shearer, Mekhi Phifer, Chris Spencer and Melyssa Ford vie to win $50,000 for their favorite charity. With special guest appearances by Eddie Murphy and DMC, this No Limit - Texas Hold 'Em Poker tournament doesn't begin or end at the tables. Taped at the newly opened Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, BLACK POKER STARS INVITATIONAL catches every aspect of celebrity involvement from their rendezvous at the private "Millionaire Airport" in Van Nuys to their VIP hotel check-in to the special "Losers Lounge," where eliminated players soothe their bruised egos during the poker face off -- all while capturing the comedic exchange and trash talk from today's hottest celebrities.

Then, at 11:00 PM*, BET slams into the IRON RING. Showcasing mixed martial arts, the fastest-growing new sports format in entertainment, IRON RING pairs
celebrity team owners, trainers and fighters to produce some of the most compelling match-ups on television. Headlining the show is boxing champ Floyd Mayweather (with the assistance of hip-hop star Rick Ross) managing the Money Mayweather Boys, along with hip-hop heavyweights Ludacris and Nelly representing Team Luda and Team Nelly (respectively); T.I. with the help of Big Kuntry, Young Dro, DJ Drama and Alpha Omega leading Team Grand Hustle; Juelz Santana and Jim Jones heading Dipset; and Lil Jon with the Head Busters.

With $100,000 in prize money up for grabs, these skilled competitors go toe-to-toe in the IRON RING using the combined fighting techniques of jiu-jitsu, judo, karate, boxing, kickboxing and wrestling. From competitive team tryouts and grueling practices to the final face-off at the live championship, IRON RING not only exposes the hardcore sport of mixed martial arts, but also uniquely explores the human element by providing insight into the lives of the fighters and coaches.

*All times ET/PT

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA) (NYSE: VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 87 million households according to Nielsen Media Research, and can be seen in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET Digital Networks - BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, a service venture into the lucrative world of ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, an extension of BET network programming for global distribution. For up-to-the-minute and archival press information including releases and photographs, visit BET's press-only Web site at http://www.bet.com/pr.


BLACK POKER STARS INVITATIONAL, Lyntina Townsend, +1-202-608-2745, lyntina.townsend@bet.net, or Leslie Gay, +1-310-481-3756, leslie.gay@bet.net;

IRON RING, Voncella McIntosh, +1-310-481-3732, voncella.mcintosh@bet.net, or Zabrina Horton, +1-310-481-3737, Zabrina.horton@bet.net