Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa is partnering with MultiChoice to launch a brand new localised BET channel on DStv Premium in South Africa. Designed to respect, reflect and elevate the rich variety and positive values of African & African-American culture, BET will be VIMN Africa’s second BET channel on the continent, expanding the network’s family entertainment offering for viewers between 20 and 49.
Going live on 2 April 2015 at 17:20 CAT, BET will air exclusively on DStv channel 129. The channel will co-exist alongside sister channel BET2 (formerly BET International), which currently airs on DStv channel 135.
The new 24-hour channel will provide an uplifting blend of locally produced and international programming from a variety of genres, including drama, family-friendly sitcoms, stand-up comedy, documentaries, talk shows, awards specials, reality series, gospel music, and more.
Commented Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks Africa, “VIMN Africa is delighted to announce the launch of this new BET channel – our tenth channel and multimedia entertainment brand in Africa. BET will connect viewers with international trends, talent and thought leaders, whilst simultaneously celebrating Africa’s talent and creativity. This evolution for the BET brand on the continent significantly broadens our general entertainment offering and provides a dynamic and compelling new destination for viewers.”
Aletta Alberts, GM Content for MultiChoice South Africa commented: “The new BET channel will enrich our Premium customers’ television viewing experience with bespoke local content such as the reality series, Top Actor in addition to world-class entertainment such as the premiere of the epic 12 part miniseries, A.D. The Bible Continues, premiering on DStv over Easter, a sequel to The Bible – an award winning miniseries created by Mark Burnett.”
Starting 2 April, DStv Premium customers can look forward to a brand new South African reality series, Top Actor, and new seasons of original drama Being Mary Jane starring Gabrielle Union, and Kevin Hart’s spoof reality hit Real Husbands of Hollywood. Other exciting series appearing on the new BET channel include reality special Nellyville, starring hip-hop artist Nelly. Another new face on the channel will be Martin Lawrence, entertaining viewers with his hilarious stand-up comedy series The 1st Amendment Stand-Up. In addition, epic entertainment for the Easter weekend will be provided in the form of gripping Biblical drama, A.D., (sequel to The Bible), premiering on BET at 20:55 CAT on Monday 6 April.
BET viewers will also be the first to view favourite BET franchises such as The Wendy Williams Show, hosted by the chat show queen, and high octane music specials such as Black Girls Rock (premiere: Saturday 25 April 2015 at 19:55 CAT), the BET Awards, The BET Honors and the BET Hip Hop Awards. Gospel plays a prominent role on the channel in the shape of music and praise from Bobby Jones Gospel, and reality series Sunday Best, SWV Reunited and Mary Mary. Other classic treats in store include comedy sitcoms Let’s Stay Together and Are We There Yet? and reality dance series Born to Dance with VMA award-winning choreographer Laurianne Gibson.
The move comes as VIMN Africa, Africa’s most prolific international broadcaster, celebrates ten years of operations in Africa, marked by the launch of MTV Base on 22 February 2005. Throughout the year, the network will be marking the milestone anniversary with a series of events themed around its key entertainment brands including General Entertainment (BET, Comedy Central), Music (MTV, MTV Base), and Kids & Family (Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nicktoons). More information on the initiative will be released separately.