BET (Black Entertainment Television) has been providing African American-centric programming to audiences for more than 40 years. The network programming was meant to be in a magazine-like format, presenting both entertainment and news content. Here MusicSnake Magazine presents top 6 facts about the channel, its programming and history.
Number One: BET Had the Longest Continually Running Show in Cable History. Airing from ’80 to ’16, Bobby Jones Gospel has been influential in propelling the careers of established and up-and-coming gospel singers. It’s 36-year run makes it the longest running show on the network, as well as the longest continuously running show in cable tv history.
Number Two: The Channel Has Its Own Music Festival. In ’13, the company launched the BET Experience, bringing together the best in hip-hop and R’n’B music and comedy for a four-day music and lifestyle festival. Taking place at LA Live, the festival also features a free “fan fest,” a celebrity basketball game, lectures, interactive exhibits and giveaways. The festival culminates with the BET Awards.
Number Three: BET Started as a Segment on Nickelodeon. Years before its sale to Viacom, Black Entertainment Television was a two-hour block on children’s network, Nickelodeon. It separated into its own, independent channel in ’83 and wouldn’t be associated with Viacom again until ’01.
Number Four: It Is The First Black-Owned Network. When Robert L. Johnson started BET in ’80, he became the first black owner of a TV network. Black Entertainment Television also became the first black-owned company to be publicly traded. His run ended in ’01 when he gave up majority ownership of the station to Viacom.
Number Five: The Network Airs Religious Programming Instead of Infomercials at Night. While many stations take a break from programming at night to show infomercials, BET has its own block of shows for its late night viewers. Since ’98, the channel have been showing a religious programming block called BET Inspiration.
Number Six: They Used to Have a Movie Channel. It had a deal with premium movie channel Starz in ’98 to sponsor their own movie channel. BET Movies was created to present African American-centered movies. The deal ended in ’01 when Black Entertainment Television was purchased by Viacom. Thanks for reading!
Source: MusicSnake Magazine