|Broadcast area||United States|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York|
|Picture format|| 1080i HDTV |
(downscaled letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
|Owner||Paramount Media Networks|
|Launched||January 25, 1980 (USA Network timeshare)|
July 1, 1983 (full-time channel)
|Founder|| Robert L. Johnson |
Black Entertainment Television (acronym BET) is an American basic cable channel targeting African-American audiences. It is owned by the Paramount Media Networks unit of Paramount Global via BET Networks and has offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago,and was formerly headquartered in Washington, D.C.
As of February 2015, approximately 88,255,000 American households (75.8% of households with television) receive the channel.
After stepping down as a lobbyist for the cable industry, Freeport, Illinois native Robert L. Johnson decided to launch his own cable television network. Johnson would soon acquire a loan for $15,000 and a $500,000 investment from media executive John Malone to start the network.The network, which was named Black Entertainment Television (BET), launched on January 25, 1980. Cheryl D. Miller designed the logo that would represent the network, which featured a star to symbolize "Black Star Power".
Initially, broadcasting for two hours a week as a block of programming on the Madison Square Garden Sports Network (which would change their name to USA Network three months after BET launched),the network's lineup composed of music videos and reruns of popular black sitcoms.
It would not be until 1983 that BET became a full-fledged entity, independent of any other channel or programming block, though for years it continued to share channel space with other cable networks on local cable systems due to lack of channel room for their 24-hour schedule until the time of digital cable allowed for larger channel capacity. In some markets, the network would not arrive at all until as late as the early 2010s and ViacomCBS considered it compulsory in retransmission consent negotiations to carry the BET Networks with ViacomCBS networks, due to some providers claiming that there was an overall lack of demand for the channel, or there was a low to non-existent African-American population within their service area.
BET launched a news program, BET News, in 1988, with Ed Gordon as its anchor. Gordon later hosted other programs and specials on BET, such as Black Men Speak Out: The Aftermath, related to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and a recurring interview show, Conversations with Ed Gordon.In 1996, the talk show BET Tonight started with Tavis Smiley as host; in 2001, Ed Gordon replaced Smiley as host of the program.
In 1991, the network became the first black-controlled television company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. billion. In 2005, Johnson retired from the network, turning over his titles of president and chief executive officer to former BET vice president Debra L. Lee.Starting the late 1990s, the network expanded with the launch of digital cable networks: what is now the general interest channel BET Her was initially launched as "BET on Jazz" (later known as "BET Jazz", "BET J", and "Centric"), created initially to showcase jazz music-related programming, especially that of African-American jazz musicians; in 1997, it entered into a joint venture with Starz (then-owned by John Malone's Liberty Media) to launch a multiplex service of the premium channel featuring African American-oriented films called "BET Movies: Starz! 3" (later renamed "Black Starz" after BET dropped out of the venture following its purchase by Viacom, then-owner of Starz rival Showtime, and now known as "Starz InBlack"). In 2001, the network lost its status as a black-owned business when it was bought by media conglomerate Viacom for $3
In 2002, the network had launched two more music-oriented networks, BET Hip-Hop and BET Gospel. BET also launched a series of original programming by this time, including reality shows Baldwin Hills and Hell Date , competition show Sunday Best , and town hall-style discussion show Hip Hop vs. America.BET's president of entertainment Reginald Hudlin resigned from the network on September 11, 2008. He was then replaced by Stephen Hill, who is also executive vice president of music programming and talent. BET announced in March 2010 that Ed Gordon would return to the network to host "a variety of news programs and specials".
In March 2017, president of programming Stephen Hill and executive vice president of original programming Zola Mashariki both stepped down. Connie Orlando, senior vice president of Specials, Music Programming, and News was named the interim president of programming.
In July 2017, Viacom signed new film and television development deals with Tyler Perry following the expiration of his existing pact with Discovery Inc. in 2019. As part of this deal, Perry would produce The Oval and Sistas for BET and co-own the network's newly launched streaming service, BET+.
BET's programming began with a wide range of comedy, news and current affairs, public affairs, and music programming, including mainstream rap, hip-hop and R&B music videos (which now air on its branded sister networks) and the network's former flagship program, 106 & Park (which premiered on September 11, 2000, and ended on December 19, 2014). In addition, BET has previously aired same-day or week-delayed late-night runs of syndicated talk shows.
Original programming currently seen on BET include Boomerang , Games People Play and The Oval . Daily programming on the network composes of acquired television series and both theatrically and direct-to-video-released films. The network's morning BET Rejoice block (formerly BET Inspiration until 2017) is dedicated to religious programming and airs in lieu of infomercials in late-night, which the network has not aired since 1997;BET is one of a batch of subscription channels and one of only two Paramount-owned networks to have discontinued airing infomercials (sister network Nickelodeon (through it's Nick at Nite block) ran infomercials in some overnight timeslots from 1987 to 1998, with series airing in that daypart since then).
BET also carries and produces several Award telecasts, including the network's own BET Awards, which were established in 2001 to celebrate African-Americans and diverse minorities in music, acting, sports and other parts of entertainment over the past year. Formerly, the BET Honors, which were established in 2008 to honor the lives and achievements of African-American luminaries and are presented during Black History Month each February. The BET Awards is the network's flagship event, with the "BET Experience" festival held in the days leading up to the telecast.
The BET Walk of Fame Awards were established in 1995 by BET. In 2004, proceeds were shared between United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and the BET Foundation, which executes the Healthy BET obesity awareness campaign and other pro-social causes like the annual charitable black-tie BET Walk of Fame ceremony.
In 2006, BET Interactive, LLC became a subsidiary of BET.BET also has a digital group including BET.com, BET on Blast, BET on Demand and BET Mobile.
|Nobody's Fool||November 2, 2018||Paramount Pictures||First film from Paramount Players|
|What Men Want||February 8, 2019|
|Body Cam||May 19, 2020|
|Karen||September 3, 2021||Quiver Distribution|
BET's programming is distributed on DVD and through video-on-demand services under the name BET Home Entertainment. In 2007, a distribution deal was arranged with Paramount Home Entertainment.
A wide range of people have protested elements of BET's programming and actions, including Public Enemy rapper Chuck D,journalist George Curry, writer Keith Boykin, comic book creator Christopher Priest, filmmaker Spike Lee, Syracuse University professor of finance Dr. Boyce Watkins, former NFL player Burgess Owens, and cartoonist Aaron McGruder (who, in addition to numerous critical references throughout his series, The Boondocks , made two particular episodes, "The Hunger Strike" and "The Uncle Ruckus Reality Show", criticizing the channel). As a result, BET heavily censors suggestive content from the videos that it airs, often with entire verses and scenes removed from certain rap videos.
Many scholars within the African-American community maintain that BET perpetuates and justifies racism by affecting the stereotypes held about African-Americans, and also by affecting the psyche of its young viewers through its bombardment of negative images of African-Americans.
Following the death of civil rights leader Coretta Scott King in 2006, BET broadcast its regularly scheduled music video programming, rather than covering King's funeral live, as was done by TV One and Black Family Channel, and by cable news channels such as CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC. The network's website streamed the funeral live, while it periodically broadcast taped, 60-second reports from the funeral by senior news correspondent Andre Showell. Michael Lewellen, BET's senior vice president for corporate communications, defended the decision: "We weighed a number of different options. In the end, we chose to offer a different kind of experience for BET viewers." Lewellen also explained that BET received around "two dozen" phone calls and "a handful" of emails criticizing BET for not showing the King funeral live.On the evening of the funeral, February 7, 2006, BET broadcast the tribute special Coretta Scott King: Married to the Mission, and repeated it the following Sunday, February 12. Showell hosted the program featuring highlights of the funeral, Coretta Scott King: Celebrating Her Spirit, that broadcast that same day. In its 2007 convention, the National Association of Black Journalists gave BET its "Thumbs Down Award" for not broadcasting King's funeral live.
The New York Times reported that the Reverend Delman L. Coates and his organization Enough is Enough led protests every weekend outside the residences of BET executives against what they claim are negative stereotypes of black people perpetuated by BET music videos.Enough is Enough backed an April 2008 report titled The Rap on Rap by the Parents Television Council that criticized BET's rap programming, suggesting that the gratuitous sexual, violent and profane content was targeting children and teens.
In a 2010 interview, BET co-founder Sheila Johnson explained that she herself is "ashamed" of what the network has become. "I don't watch it. I suggest to my kids that they don't watch it," she said. "When we started BET, it was going to be the Ebony magazine on television. We had public affairs programming. We had news... I had a show called Teen Summit , we had a large variety of programming, but the problem is that then the video revolution started up... And then something started happening, and I didn't like it at all. And I remember during those days we would sit up and watch these videos and decide which ones were going on and which ones were not. We got a lot of backlash from recording artists...and we had to start showing them. I didn't like the way women were being portrayed in these videos."
BET has launched several spin-off networks over the years, including BET Her (formerly known as "BET on Jazz", then "BET J" and later "Centric"), BET Jams (formerly known as "MTV Jams"), and BET Soul (formerly known as "VH1 Soul"), alongside SHO×BET, a premium Showtime multiplex network.
In May 2019, a BET-branded channel was launched on Pluto TV, which was owned by ViacomCBS in March 2019.In June 2019, ViacomCBS announced the launch of BET+, a premium streaming service targeting the network's African-American demographic. The service launched in the United States in Fall 2019 with First Wives Club (which was originally planned to launch on Paramount Network before being shifted to BET) announced as one of the service's original series.
|Owner||Paramount Media Networks|
|Launched||July 1, 2002|
BET Gospel is a television network in the United States that launched on July 1, 2002, and provides gospel and religious programming. The network, a spin-off of BET (Black Entertainment Television), mixes new and classic shows as well as original gospel-oriented programming. BET Gospel previously ran on an automated loop schedule. In 2016, the channel was updated with its programming now composing of recent uplifting music videos, as well as gospel-themed series and specials.
|Owner||Paramount Media Networks|
|Launched||July 1, 2002|
BET Hip-Hop is a music video network owned by BET Networks which is exclusive to digital cable systems. It formerly aired some of BET's original programming such as Rap City , ComicView and the network's video countdown programs. After the 2015 relaunch of the former MTV Jams as BET Jams (which has much wider distribution), the channel's programming was shifted to an automated playlist made up of BET's library of older hip-hop videos. As part of Viacom's 2017 restructuring plan, the network is speculated to slowly wind down operations over time.
BET UK first transmitted on Videotron (now known as Virgin Media) and several other subscription providers from 1993 until 1996.
In May 2007 by Ofcom, BET International Inc. was given a license to rebroadcast in the United Kingdom. BET International is the first international version of the channel and is available in Europe, Africa and the Middle East through satellite providers. BET launched on February 27, 2008, on Sky channel 191 and began to be carried by Freesat channel 140 on August 8, 2008. BET+1 is also available on Sky channel 198 and Freesat channel 141, and is free-to-air. BET International shows with a mix of content from the main BET channel and locally produced shows. An exclusive, but temporary, HD version of the channel was made to show the 2009 BET Awards on Freesat EPG 142.
BET is additionally an associate member of the Caribbean Cable Cooperative.
BET launched an app called BET Play allowing international access to BET content in over 100 countries in June 2016.
The channel was shut down on April 8, 2021, with its content moved to My5 and Pluto TV.
BET became available in Canada in October 1997 on most pay television providers. The Canadian feed mirrors the U.S. feed, though certain television programs and films are blacked out. Until 2017, they were replaced with repeats of old music video blocks (namely BET Music, The Pull Up and BET Now). As of May 2018, the feed now airs current music videos and other acquired sitcoms and films in place of blacked-out programs.
Introduced on November 17, 2015. BET France launched across a linear television channel alongside non-linear services including Bouygues Telecom, Canalsat, Numericable/SFR, and Free.
Showtime is an American premium television network owned by Paramount Media Networks, and is the flagship property of the namesake parent subsidiary under its Premium Network Group unit, Showtime Networks. Showtime's programming primarily includes theatrically released motion pictures and original television series, along with boxing and mixed martial arts matches, occasional stand-up comedy specials, and made-for-TV movies.
Paramount Network is an American basic cable television channel owned by the MTV Entertainment Group unit of Paramount Media Networks. The network's headquarters are located at the Paramount Pictures studio lot in Los Angeles.
Paramount Media Networks is an American mass media division of Paramount Global that oversees the operations of many of its television channels and online brands. Its related international division is Paramount International Networks.
Flix is an American premium cable and satellite television network owned by Showtime Networks, a subsidiary of Paramount Global operated through its Media Networks unit. Its programming consists solely of theatrically released motion pictures released from the 1970s to the present day, interspersed with some films from the 1950s and 1960s.
BET Jams is an American pay television network controlled by BET Networks and owned by Paramount Media Networks. The channel features hip-hop and urban contemporary music videos. The network, formerly known as MTV Jams, was rebranded under the BET banner on October 5, 2015.
Logo TV is an American basic cable channel owned by Paramount Media Networks, a division of Paramount Global. Launched in 2005, Logo was originally dedicated to lifestyle and entertainment programming targeting LGBT audiences. As of January 2016, approximately 50 million households receive Logo.
BET Her is an American basic cable television network owned by Paramount Media Networks. The network is a spin-off of BET with a focus on general entertainment targeting African-American women.
CMT is an American pay TV network owned by Paramount Media Networks, a division of Paramount Global. Launched on March 5, 1983, as Country Music Television, CMT was the first nationally available channel devoted to country music and country music videos, with its programming also including concerts, specials, and biographies of country music stars. Over time, the network's programming expanded to incorporate original lifestyle and reality programming while downplaying its focus on country music.
Starz is an American premium cable and satellite television network owned by Lions Gate Entertainment, and is the flagship property of parent subsidiary Starz Inc. Programming on Starz consists of theatrically released motion pictures and first-run original television series. Created in 1994 as a multiplex service of Encore, Starz operates six 24-hour, linear multiplex channels; a traditional subscription video on demand service; and a namesake over-the-top streaming platform that both acts as a TV Everywhere offering for Starz's linear television subscribers and is sold directly to streaming-only consumers.
BET Soul is an American pay television network that is controlled by the BET Networks division of Paramount Global, which owns the network. The channel showcases R&B, funk, soul, neo soul, hip hop, jazz and Motown music from various decades. The channel uses an automated "wheel" schedule that was introduced during the early years of MTV2 and is also used by sister channel BET Jams. The loop repeats three times a day, starting at 6 a.m. Eastern Time, and then resetting at 2 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Starz Encore is an American premium television channel owned by Lions Gate Entertainment and headquartered at the Meridian International Business Center complex in Meridian, Colorado, United States. Launched as Encore on 1 April 1991, its programming features mainly older and recent theatrically released feature films, although some of its multiplex channels also carry acquired television series. It is the sister channel of Starz and MoviePlex.
Black Family Channel was an American cable television network which featured programming aimed at African-American audiences. The network's schedule included a variety of programs including religious programs, sports, music, talk shows, and children's programs. During much of the time of its existence, it was the only fully black-owned and operated cable television network in the United States.
Showtime Networks Inc. is an American entertainment company that oversees the company's premium cable television channels, including its flagship service Showtime. It is a subsidiary of media conglomerate Paramount Global under its networks unit.
MTV Live is an American pay television network owned by Paramount Global. The channel, which broadcasts exclusively in 1080i high definition, broadcasts music videos and music-related programming from Paramount owned networks MTV, MTV Classic, VH1 and CMT, along with other concert and live music programming from outside producers.
MTV Tres is an American pay television network owned by Paramount Media Networks, a subsidiary of Paramount Global.
Epix is an American premium cable and satellite television network owned by the Epix Entertainment LLC subsidiary of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), a division of Amazon's MGM Holdings, Inc. The channel's programming consists of recent and older theatrically released motion pictures, original television series, documentaries, and music and comedy specials.
Black Entertainment Television LLC, doing business as BET Networks, is an American entertainment company that oversees the company's premium cable television channels, including its flagship service BET. It is a subsidiary of media conglomerate Paramount Global under its networks unit.
Paramount Global is an American multinational entertainment conglomerate that has been the subject of criticisms and controversies about its products and services. Criticism of Paramount Global has included the former Viacom Inc's announced plans of looking into splitting the company into two publicly traded companies. The company was not only dealing with a stagnating stock price, but also the rivalry between Leslie Moonves and Tom Freston, longtime heads of MTV Networks. In addition, the company was facing issues after MTV was banned from producing any more Super Bowl halftime shows after the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy in 2004.
Pluto TV is a free ad-supported video streaming service owned and operated by Paramount Streaming, a division of Paramount Global. Co-founded by Tom Ryan, Ilya Pozin and Nick Grouf in 2013 and based in Los Angeles, California, in the United States, and parts of the rest of the Americas, and Europe, Pluto is an advertiser-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) service that primarily offers a selection of programming content through digital linear channels designed to emulate the experience of traditional broadcast programming. The service's revenue is generated from video advertisements seen during programming within ad breaks structured similarly to those found on conventional television.
[...] today announced the launch of BET Home Entertainment through a partnership with Paramount Home Entertainment, who will distribute BET original television programming, made-for-DVD titles and acquired content on a worldwide basis.
BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment, including DVDs and video on demand