BET International
BET Logo.svg
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast areaAfrica
Middle East
South Korea
NetworkBET
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Programming
Language(s)English
Arabic
Korean
Picture format16:9 576i SDTV
Ownership
OwnerViacomCBS Networks International
History
Launched27 February 2008; 14 years ago (2008-02-27)
Closed8 April 2021; 12 months ago (2021-04-08) (UK & Ireland)
Links
Websitewww.betintl.co.uk
Availability
Terrestrial
GOtv (Sub-Saharan Africa)Channel 21
Streaming media
Virgin TV AnywhereWatch live (UK only)

BET International (Black Entertainment Television) was a British-Irish free-to-air television channel centred towards black culture. Before its replacement with a domestic version, it also aired in Africa, along with the Middle East/North Africa region. It was launched on 28 February 2008 in the UK[1] with headquarters in London. BET broadcast content from the main Black Entertainment Television channel in the US and Canada. No UK-originated content was ever produced for the channel.[2][3]

History

BET International Inc. was given a licence to broadcast in the UK in May 2007 by Ofcom. In 2006 it was announced that BET would hold its first annual Hip-Hop Awards and as part of the announcement they also stated there would be a "Best UK Artist" category, the winner being Sway.[4]

Availability

BET launched on the Sky platform in the UK on 27 February 2008, one day earlier than originally advertised. It began with various BET content, such as 106 & Park, American Gangster and College Hill. The channel is available on Sky channel 194. The channel launched on Freesat in August 2008, on channel 140. BET +1 was added to Freesat when it launched in late 2008.[5] These signals are also available for free in the rest of Europe via satellite Eutelsat 28A. At the start of July 2009, a temporary HD event channel for the BET Awards 2009 was carried by Freesat.[6]

BET Africa was available in Kenya on Zuku TV on channel 125[7] and on StarTimes on channel 132.[8]

The channel was available on Pan-African Satellite Broadcaster DStv on Channel 135 until 2 April 2015 when it was replaced with a domestic BET feed, which includes local shows alongside BET International's programming.

BET International was removed from StarSat in South Africa, and StarTimes across Africa on 30 November 2015.

On 4 November 2014, BET +1 closed, and was replaced by 5* +1 on Sky.

As of 2018, BET Africa added to GOtv channel 21.

As of 5 May 2020, BET was removed from Freesat.

It was announced on 30 March 2021 that BET would shut down as a linear TV channel on 8 April 2021 in the UK & Ireland. BET International's content was disbursed among the My5 and Pluto TV streaming services, and will also be carried on Paramount+ upon its 2022 pan-European launch.[9]

Programming

Main article: List of programs broadcast by BET

The network aired most of the programming originated and produced by the American BET network, along with select programmes from MTV and VH1. It also carried acquired Black-focused American and British sitcoms which originally aired on terrestrial networks in both countries.

References

  1. ^ "BET Networks Announces the Launch of BET in the UK". BET Networks. 2008-02-20. Archived from the original on 2008-03-08.
  2. ^ "Black TV network to expand to UK". Digital Spy. 2007-06-20.
  3. ^ "BET comes to Britain". The Voice. 2007-06-28. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
  4. ^ "T.I., Busta Rhymes And Chamillionaire Top Nominees List For 1st Annual "BET Hip Hop Awards"". The Voice. 2006-10-13. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30.
  5. ^ "BET Comes to the U.K." BET.com. 2008-02-28. Archived from the original on 2008-06-11.
  6. ^ "Freesat brings BET HD to UK". Digital Spy. 2009-06-25.
  7. ^ "Channels Line-Ups". Zuku. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  8. ^ [1] Archived June 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ BET goes all digital in UK with My5 shift Digital TV Europe. 30 March 2021. Retrieved 6 April 2021