Cape Town – MultiChoice and Viacom are downgrading and upgrading the BET channel, splitting it in two for Africa on DStv by rebranding the existing BET International (DStv 135) as BET2 for lower paying subscribers, and creating BET on channel 129 for DStv Premium subscribers.
Channel24 asked MultiChoice and Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) last week after the announcement came of a new show, Top Actor SA set for a new BET channel on DStv channel 129 but was told there’s “nothing concrete to tell”. Now VIMN Africa and MultiChoice announced the addition of BET and the rebranding of BET International to BET2.
The channels – positioned around the "rich variety and positive values of African and African-American culture" – will see shows like talk show The Wendy Williams Show and music specials like Black Girls Rock, the BET Awards, The BET Honors and the BET Hip Hop Awards move to BET where it will be seen first by DStv Premium subscribers.
There's been no explanation from MultiChoice and VIMN Africa on why DStv is creating this new BET channel when MTV Base, which roughly targets the same audience, already exists for a decade – and could carry a lot of the BET programming.
MTV Europe and MTV Base on DStv – and both supplied by VIMN Africa – both moved away from playing just music videos and already show dramas and reality fare.
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BET will start on DStv on 2 April at 17:20 and will also carry reality series, dramas, sitcoms, stand-up comedies and documentaries, with Alex Okosi, the senior vice president and managing director for VIMN Africa calling it an "evolution of the BET brand on the continent".
"The new BET channel will enrich our Premium customers' television viewing experience with bespoke local content," says Aletta Alberts, the general manager for content for MultiChoice South Africa.
BET will show the local reality show Top Actor SA, as well as A.D. The Bible Continues, a 12-part miniseries created by Mark Burnett starting on 6 April at 20:55.
New seasons and new episodes of shows like Being Mary Jane, Kevin Hart's Real Husbands of Hollywood and The Wendy Williams Show are moving from BET International to BET for DStv Premium subscribers.
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