BET goes African?!

Black Entertainment Television (BET) will not stop until it has totally dominated the world with its buffoonery. First it was the UK. Next stop: Africa!

From BET:

BET Networks announced today that it is now offering BET in 29 countries in sub-Saharan Africa on multiple platforms, expanding the channel’s international reach that already includes the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and the United Kingdom. Through the GTV agreement, BET will be seen in 21 countries, and with the agreement with MultiChoice, BET will initially launch on DStv in 11 countries.

Available via DStv’s Premium and Compact bouquets, as well as GTV on both English-language bouquets G Plus and G Choice and French-language bouquets G Choix and G Grand, BET will provide consumers in Africa access to the network’s top-rated and critically acclaimed shows, including 106 & PARK, COLLEGE HILL, KEYSHIA COLE: THE WAY IT IS, BALDWIN HILLS, REAL LIFE DIVAS, THE BET HONORS, BOBBY JONES GOSPEL, and many more.

“Expanding into Africa is an extremely important, exciting and rewarding move for us,” said Debra L. Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BET Networks. “With our launch in Africa on both GTV and DStv, BET Networks is continuing to build on our commitment of providing high-quality content to international audiences.”

“We’re so excited to establish a presence in Africa, as these key partnerships give us valuable scale in the region,” said Michael D. Armstrong, Senior Vice President and General Manager, BET International. “Africa makes great strategic sense, and we’re confident that we’ll continue to grow and deliver content to viewers across the continent who are eager for the programming we offer.”

Commenting on the launch of the channel, MultiChoice Africa CEO Eben Greyling welcomed the new addition to DStv. “Our general entertainment line-up has grown over the past decade to include the world’s biggest and best channel brands and the addition of BET to this line-up completes our multi-channel general entertainment offering and means that our subscribers will get the greatest selection of channel choice on DStv.”

“We’re delighted to have BET on board,” said Julian McIntyre, Founder and Managing Director of GTV. “Our service continues to break new ground in multi-platform content distribution and this partnership reflects our commitment to bring the best tailored content to our viewers at the most competitive costs. This announcement demonstrates again the strengths in content and innovation that position GTV well for sustained growth.”

I can see it now: Keyshia Cole: Africa Edition!

But being serious for a moment, isn't it bad enough that there is a negative image of African Americans in the motherland already? The last time I traveled to Africa, I meet someone who actually said to me "You're a good black who can speak proper English," meaning that I am not the "stereotypical" black American generally portrayed in the international media as criminal, poor and uneducated. Apparently, I am the only educated, middle class black person without a criminal record in the United States!

One would think America's most watched black television network would step up its game, and put out a better product that would represent ALL black people in a better light internationally. Not only would this be an opportunity to set the record straight about African Americans, but to also show that Africa is not a basket case of HIV/AIDS, war, famine and political corruption. Believe or not, there are black Africans who are also educated, middle class and not out to kill people with spears, bows and arrows.

But I guess that is asking too much from Debra Lee's minstrel empire.

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At Thursday, December 18, 2008 3:14:00 PM, Anonymous Bette in Portland said...

Jesus take the wheel from these people. Doesn't Africa suffer enough without BET?

At Thursday, December 18, 2008 8:38:00 PM, Anonymous lion of judah said...

the cooning, shucking and jiving most stop at BET.

and how is it that BET can flourish, but NPR can cancel News and Notes.

WTF, people

At Tuesday, December 23, 2008 2:18:00 PM, Anonymous miracle said...

BET in Africa???? That won't last.

On News and Notes, I hope Farai Chideya and staff bring the show to independent media, like Amy Goodman did with her radio show.


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