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Black Entertainment Television (BET) is an American pay television channel that is part of the BET Networks division of Viacom Media Networks, a unit of Viacom. It is the most prominent television network targeting African American audiences, with approximately 88,255,000 American households (75.8% of households with television) receiving the channel.The channel has offices in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The channel’s former headquarters were in Washington, D.C.
Programming on the network consists of original and acquired television series and theatrically and direct-to-video-released films. The network has also aired a variety of stand-up comedy, news, and current affairs programs, and formerly aired mainstream rap, hip-hop and R&B music videos; the latter of which now air on its branded sister networks.
BET’s programming began with a wide scope of comedy, music, public affairs, and news programming, including the network’s former flagship urban music program 106 & Park (which debuted in September 2000 and ended in December 2014). Original programming currently seen on BET include Boomerang, Games People Play and Tales. In addition, the channel broadcasts acquired television series and has previously aired same-day or week-delayed late-night runs of syndicated talk shows. Feature films released theatrically and on home video comprise much of the channel’s weekend schedule.
The BET Rejoice block (formally BET Inspiration until 2017) is dedicated to Christian programming. This block airs in lieu of infomercials in late-night, which the network has not aired since 1997; BET is one of a handful of subscription channels and one of only two Viacom-owned networks to have discontinued airing infomercials (sister network Nickelodeon ran infomercials in some overnight timeslots from 1987 to 1998, with series airing in that daypart since then).
BET Walk of Fame Awards
The BET Walk of Fame Awards were established in 1995 by BET. In 2004, proceeds were shared between United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and the BET Foundation, which executes the Healthy BET obesity awareness campaign and other pro-social causes like the annual charitable black-tie BET Walk of Fame ceremony.
The BET Awards were established in 2001 by the network to celebrate African Americans and other minorities in music, acting, sports and other fields of entertainment over the past year. The awards are presented annually and broadcast live on BET. BET commissioned Artist/Sculptor and Hip-Hop culture icon Carlos “Mare139” Rodriguez to design the Award sculpture. Global promotion is provided by Kroszover Entertainment.
The BET Honors were established in 2008 by the network to honor the lives and achievements of African-American luminaries. The awards are presented annually and broadcast on BET during Black History Month each February.