[01/27/05 - 12:00 AM]
It's Official - Bet, Cable's Leading Black Network, Is 25!

[via press release from BET]

It's Official - BET, Cable's Leading Black Network, Is 25!

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 -- What first began as the dream of African-American entrepreneur Robert Johnson has now reached an historic milestone. BET is celebrating its 25th anniversary as television's leading network targeting African Americans. It was 25 years ago this week -- on January 25, 1980 -- that the technological "switch" was flipped to create BET as the first channel of its kind in history.

On that visionary night, BET's first telecast was a Black film presentation entitled "A Visit to a Chief's Son." Since then, BET has grown from a few hours of programming on weekends to a 24-hour urban entertainment phenomenon reaching more than 79 million homes in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean with music, news, comedy, drama, public affairs, movies, sports and concert specials.

For now, BET has chosen to quietly celebrate the achievement internally with cake and champagne toasts among executives and employees. There was also a video message of celebration to employees from Founder and CEO Johnson along with Debra Lee, BET President and Chief Operating Officer. Viewers, however, will have their own chance to join in the party later this year.

"This will be a major celebration of our success with new original programming, vignettes, entertainment specials, contests and other surprises," said Lee. "Everything culminates this fall with a BET 25th Anniversary televised special comparable in excitement and glamour to our popular BET Awards show."

BET has also rolled out a new corporate logo and on-screen graphic look to the network as part of its 25th Anniversary. Incorporated into the new brand identity is an exciting tagline entitled "It's My Thing."

BET's signature star logo has been refined to give it a more pronounced, contemporary look. The star has been shifted from the left to the right of the BET lettering to ensure that the primary focus is not on stars or celebrities, but rather the network's most important asset -- its viewers. The identity makeover is being supported by a range of on-air and off-air creative tactics, including new print collateral; business cards and corporate stationery; and various technical treatments to BET's televised programming, network identifications and logo animation. The new image campaign was developed by PUSH Creative (New York) and the BET Creative Services department (New York and Washington, D.C.).


BET, a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc. (NYSE: VIA; VIA.B), is the nation's leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs programming for the African-American audience. The BET Network reaches more than 79 million households according to Nielsen media research, and can be seen in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. BET is a dominant consumer brand in the urban marketplace with a diverse group of branded businesses: BET.com, the Number 1 Internet portal for African Americans; BET Digital Networks -- BET Jazz, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Event Productions, specializing in a full range of event production services, including event management, venue selection, talent recruitment, sound, lighting and stage production; and BET Books, the nation's leading publisher of African-American themed romance novels under the Arabesque imprint which also publishes compelling fiction under the Sepia imprint and inspirational fiction and nonfiction under the New Spirit imprint.

SOURCE BET (Black Entertainment Television)
Web Site: http://www.bet.com

  [january 2005]  

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