BET Launches In Africa

Ten months after it launched in the U.K., Viacom's BET has moved into Africa in a significant way, debuting in 29 countries on multiple platforms. Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman has said for some time that cable brands such as BET and Comedy Central have ample growth opportunities overseas.

In Africa, BET will be offered in English and French in some areas, with series such as "106 & Park," "College Hill" and "Bobby Jones Gospel" on the schedule.

The move expands the channel's international reach, which currently includes the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and the UK.

Michael Armstrong, senior vice president and general manager at BET International, said the agreements with two local distributors in sub-Saharan Africa "give us valuable scale in the region."

"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," he said.

In addition to airing original shows to African audiences, BET will also push its Rap-It-Up initiative, a comprehensive public education campaign designed to inform young people about sexual health issues, including HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

In February, BET launched in the United Kingdom in 8.8 million homes.



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