BET2 Channel Cancelled | What Does This Mean For Local Shows on BET?

BET2 (DStv 135) is no nore. Yep, at the end of November just 8 months after Viacom International Media Networks Africa introduced the channel on DStv, the conglomerate has decided to do away with two BET channels on the African pay-tv platform.
No specifics on why VIMNA has decided to pull the BET2 channel but one can only speculate that the ratings were not that good as having two BET channels split the numbers. For BET to have an impactful force in South Africa and the continent, the channel brand needed to be competitive.

Unfortunately so far, BET has not made the big splash one had anticipated. Very few people watch the channel, as demand for locally produced content in

BET (DStv 129) - which was just for DStv Premium subscribers -  will continue to be available from Multichoice but now it will also be available to DStv Extra and DStv Compact subscribers from December when BET2 is shutting down on 30 November.
creases on the DStv platform, and competitors like Mzansi Magic are reaping the rewards for that demand.

The channel will experience some changes which will be punctuated with the premieres of new seasons of various shows popular shows on BET, including Season 4 of Real Husbands of Hollywood, Season 3 of Being Mary Jane and new episodes of The Wendy Williams Show.

Other titles in the line-up for the month include Punk’d, The BET Life of… and reality shows DeSean Jackson, Blood, Sweat and Heels and Frankie and Neffe. There's also going to be a new Saturday night movie slot starting with an Eddie Murphy festival through December.

What does all this mean for locally produced content on BET?

In a joint statement MultiChoice and VIMN Africa have stated that;  
"locally-produced content will play an increased role on the channel with BET Buzz continuing to air every weekday, a second season of Top Actor currently in production, and additional local commissions set to air in early 2016".

A 2-part documentary programme about the South African designer David Tlale has also been made and will be aired on the channel. No commitment for more productions was mentioned though.

My honest opinion is that, if BET would love to have the same impact it had years ago in America with offering alternative content, they will have to do better than just relying on being a known brand.

BET has a niche market in the US because it caters for a specific minority market. In South Africa (and by extension Africa) we already have channels that cater for us. We do not have the issues Americans have with networks not providing content for minorities.

BET can not rely on being a platform for 'black content' in Africa. To be competitive they would have to invest in providing content that will resonate with local viewers. As far as locally-produced content, they need to be bold.

Their advantage could be production value. What local competitors lack in comparison with BET is high production value. BET can capitalise on that by producing high quality locally produced shows. That could be the calling card for them on this continent.

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