BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION (BET) UK LAUNCH – WHAT HAPPENED???

Earlier this year it was announced that BET would officially launch in the UK, November 07…

Now some of you may remember our own little version of BET, The Identity Channel which launched in 1993. The Identity Channel was aimed at the black community and featured BET shows, Teen Summit (my favourite), Rap City, Donnie Simpson’s Video Soul, along with shows imported from the Caribbean/Africa and locally produced shows. 

Sadly though The Identity Channel ceased transmitting in 1996, due to lack of funding.

The fact that the channel kept on repeating the same episodes of shows imported from the US, Jamaica, Trinidad, Africa everyday for almost a year, was a sign that all wasn’t well up in Identity towers…. 

However, fast forward to June 2007 when BET International senior vice-president and general manager, Michael Armstrong flew in to London and spoke to high brow broad sheet newspaper The Guardian.

Loaded with the news that UK media regulator, Ofcom, had granted a licence to the network, Armstrong went on to tell the newspaper that the network planned to operate in the UK for a very long time and that the UK channel, the first international launch of the BET brand, would commission its own locally produced shows as well as importing hits from the US.

He also added “We are very interested in bringing a BET channel to the UK that is designed and developed for the UK audience. It will be different in the UK. It will be programmed differently and we are definitely looking at commissioning programmes locally.”

So far so good I thought…

but then I read the list of BET shows that they planned on screening here, some of which we could do without!

Lil’ Kim – Countdown to Lockdown – Now for a start Lil Kim was released from prison 2 years ago. Why is this “reality” vehicle going to be of interest to anyone in 2007/2008???? Kim’s situation is no longer relevent! Hell, Kim’s no longer relevent full stop!

College Hill – Another staged “reality” show debacle! 

106 & Park – I cannot stand the constant cheering and screaming coming from over excited studio audience members after an artist finishes a sentence –  The artist on the couch could go as far as breaking wind and I guarentee even that would generate screams and cheers – madness!

Anyway 2008 has arrived and all has gone quiet on the BET UK official network launch front.  It was supposed to have made its debut in November but to my knowledge this hasn’t happened yet.

Why? I wondered….

Then several days ago MTV Base showcased their new shows for 2008. BET’s College Hill and DMX: Soul Of A Man (why are they screening this here 2 years after its initial screening in the US????) will both air in Jaunary…

Now I have two questions…. 

1) Are they just planning on airing the odd BET import via MTV Base?

2) Does this mean that we will no longer have the promised BET UK cable network channel? 

Enquiring minds want to know!

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Categories: B.E.T

16 replies »

  1. I have seen BET UK adverts on MTV Base in the past couple of days. It’s coming in the immediate future :)

  2. I haven’t seen those… All I’ve seen is MTV Base advertising now dated shows, like Lil Kim Countdown To Lock Down (shs been free for 2 years now) and DMX Soul Of A Man, oh and College Hill…. No mention of the actual BET UK network…

    I will believe it when I see it!

  3. An engineering test transmission marked “BET Test – Arqiva Washington (carrying a copy of MSNBC strangley) has now begun on satellite in the UK.

    I would assume that BET will arrive in the not too distant future.

    Pity they won’t bring back ‘BET on Jazz’ – that was worth watching …

  4. Well if Bet Tv is taking over from MTV Base, I don’t think it will be a bad thing.
    Why because over the last 2 year the whole Channel has become total boring, all it shown is nothing but repeats no original shown.
    You would think they would try to make some home grown TV shows. But no, since I’ve been watching the only done about 3, that’s not including ‘The Lick’ even that has become lazy.
    What I would like to see when BET TV take over, they make some UK realty programs. Shows that have UK Black/Urban theme, guess we have to wait & see.

  5. hello,and how are you and your staff doing? fine i hope , born and raised in and around galveston island texas and to kappa , mardi gras ,and juneteenth, people and b e t supporters ask why don t you guys come down here and get with people like myself so we can teach our littlle ones and even our adults their history and every year lets come back together for a 3 on 3 celebrity basketball tournament for black history and then again for a starstudded celebrrity concert set for juneteenth ,i m not going to lie ,and have them televised every year it will bring a lot of revenue not only to and for galveston county but also awhole new level to bet and your audiences everywhere, i promise you that you will never regret it ever we have so much love for bet but noone ever comes our way ,please help me ,put a smile on some childs face ,its not about me its to keep these kids off the streets ,and to stay positive and to stay in school ,and if i just touched 1 childs heart and they followed my instructions then i know i did my job ,i can t reach everybody but by the grace of god i will continue todo the will of the lord. thank you for any and all help, and i m looking forward to your response. sincerely yours,anthony callis sr.

  6. we as humans need to come togther as 1 and stop the snitching ,the lies ,the killings ,stop shooting people ,and shoot some b-ball,or some pool promoters contact me @ 409 392 0881 cease fire thats a brother.

  7. Hey, I was just at the Sundance Film Festival and I overheard some folks talking about this with my future husband (I just love him!) Willie Macc from BET’s College Hill Virgin Islands. Not sure of the details, but something about some launch event on March 1 with a lot of celebrities. I think that my baby-daddy (even though he doesn’t know it yet) is coming over to to help promote the launch and help promote a movie that he has a small role in called Meet the Spartans.

    Y’all all need to check my future husband out at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2420047 or at http://www.myspace.com/kingonthemic.

  8. damn das nOt fair;; i hOpe dey dOnt try ta keep us behind cuz das nOt koOl… && i agree watsz dha use of Old ass prOqrams cOmin` out buh i dO admit i watched cOlleqe hill && it was decent buh dha fact that it was Old was kinda.. i dunnO depressin` =/

  9. i fink dis is a gd idea been waiting for a black channel in the uk but hw long will it last…..?
    i waitin 2 c dis

  10. I CANT SEE THE POINT THE CHANNEL HAS BEEN NOTHING BUT REPEATS OF OLD SHOWS SINCE JAN ITS NOW MARCH!!!!

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