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Jackson's Death Is Turning Point for BET, TMZ

The death of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, is responsible for big boosts to media players TMZ and BET. TMZ got the celebrity news break of the year when it was the first to report Mr. Jackson's death June 25, hours before news organizations such as the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and CNN could even confirm.

BET reformatted its BET Awards -- set to take place a mere three days after Jackson's death -- to double as a tribute to the music legend. The ceremony broke all the network's records to become the top-rated cable telecast of 2009, with 10.65 million viewers. As a result, BET scored its highest-rated week in network history, as well as finishing the second quarter as the network's most-watched quarter in history. Sponsors such as Procter & Gamble, Ford and Kmart also got larger audiences as a result of expanded interest in this year's BET Awards.

Elsewhere, media outlets tried hard to meet massive demand for Jackson coverage without looking like exploiters. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press says that 64% of respondents in its weekly survey called the media coverage "too much."



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