Who owns BET Network in 2022: An Overview of the Current Ownership

The Black Entertainment Television Network, commonly referred to as BET, is a cable network that has been a significant part of America’s entertainment scene for over three decades. This channel has been instrumental in showcasing African American culture, entertainment, and news, inspiring the world with unique perspectives and debates. With its distinct programming and strong appeal, millions of people tune in to BET every day to watch its vast range of content.

With the ever-changing entertainment landscape, the ownership of the BET Network has also been a topic of interest. Over the years, there have been several changes in the network’s ownership structure, leading to speculation and curiosity among viewers. In this article, we will take a closer look at the current ownership of BET Network, as well as the latest updates and information surrounding the channel’s identity.

From the network’s inception in 1980, BET has undergone numerous changes and transitions, with ownership changing hands multiple times. Today, the ownership of BET is somewhat complex, with a parent company and subsidiary companies involved. Understanding this structure and the direction in which it is moving is essential for anyone who wants to stay updated and informed about BET Network. So, let’s dive in and explore the current updates on who really owns BET Network in 2022.

BET Network Overview

BET Network, also known as Black Entertainment Television, is a television network and media company that primarily targets African American audiences. The network was launched in 1980 by Robert L. Johnson and was the first television network in the United States to be owned by an African American company LeoVegas.

Over the years, BET has gone through various changes in ownership. In 2001, the network was acquired by Viacom, a multinational media conglomerate. Under Viacom's ownership, BET continued to expand its programming to include music videos, original scripted series, and reality shows.

BET has become a leading source for African American entertainment and culture. The network provides a platform for up-and-coming artists and has hosted important events like the BET Awards, which celebrate the achievements of African American musicians, actors, and athletes.

Despite changes in ownership, BET remains committed to its mission of representing the African American community and showcasing its contributions to American culture. The network's programming offers a diverse range of shows that appeal to a wide audience, from comedy and drama to news and music.

History of BET Network Ownership

BET Network, also known as Black Entertainment Television, was founded in 1980 by Robert L. Johnson. Johnson, a businessman and cable television pioneer, created BET to provide African American audiences with programming that reflected their culture and experiences.

In 1991, BET became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. Johnson remained at the helm of the network until 2001 when he sold it to Viacom for $3 billion.

Under Viacom's ownership, BET continued to thrive and expand its reach. However, there were some controversies over the years regarding the network's programming quality, which some critics felt had become less focused on African American culture.

In 2018, Viacom announced plans to acquire another media company, which led to rumors that they were considering selling off BET. However, these rumors were later dismissed, and Viacom stated that they had no plans to sell the network.

As of 2022, ViacomCBS is the parent company of BET Network. ViacomCBS was formed in 2019 after Viacom and CBS Corporation merged, creating a media conglomerate that includes various cable networks, film studios, and publishing businesses.

BET Network Acquired by ViacomCBS

It has been announced that ViacomCBS, a media conglomerate, has acquired full control of the BET Network. This merger is expected to strengthen the network's programming and increase its viewership.

The BET network, originally founded as Black Entertainment Television, was started by Robert Johnson in 1980. Since then, the network has become a staple in the African American community, broadcasting a range of programming including music videos, news, and original series.

With ViacomCBS's acquisition, the network is expected to expand its audience and offer even more diverse programming options. This acquisition marks the latest move by ViacomCBS to expand its portfolio and increase its stake in the media industry.

The merger between BET and ViacomCBS is anticipated to be a win-win situation for both parties, as BET gains greater resources and support, while ViacomCBS strengthens its position as a media powerhouse in the highly competitive industry. Fans of the BET network are excited to see what new developments are in store for the popular channel in the future.

BET's Programming and Audience


BET Network offers a diverse range of programming, including original series, award shows, music specials, documentaries, and movies. They produce shows that reflect the African American culture and lifestyle, with topics ranging from Drama, Comedy, News, and Reality Shows. BET networks also plays a significant role in keeping the rap and hip-hop music genre alive.


BET Network's core audience is African American viewers, but they also cater to a substantial multicultural audience. The network appeals to audiences of all ages, from teenagers to the elderly, through its wide variety of programs. BET Network aims to entertain, educate, and inspire its audience with programming that reflects African American culture, while also providing a platform for community engagement.

Current Updates

BET Network continues to expand its programming and audience reach. They have announced new shows and collaborations with other networks. In 2021 they have premiered new shows like “Twenties” and “Boiling Point”. BET also collaborated with Tyler Perry for some of its programming and recently did a partnership with Twitter to air the first BET Awards Pre-Show vote party. With the network in the hands of ViacomCBS, we should expect the expansion of BET's programming to continue while striving to retain and grow the network's audience.

Current State of BET Network


BET Network, founded in 1980 as Black Entertainment Television, is currently one of the leading cable networks for African American audiences, providing a range of programming including news, sitcoms, dramas, and reality TV shows.


BET Network was originally owned by Robert L. Johnson, who sold the network to Viacom in 2001 for $3 billion. In 2019, Viacom merged with CBS to form ViacomCBS, and BET Network remains a subsidiary of this conglomerate.


BET Network's programming includes popular shows such as The Real Husbands of Hollywood, Being Mary Jane, and The Game, as well as music programs like 106 & Park and BET Awards. The network also features news programming, such as BET News and entertainment news program, BET Breaks.


BET Network's audience primarily consists of African American viewers, but the network also attracts a diverse range of viewers who appreciate the unique content and programming that BET offers. The network is available in over 90 million households in the United States, and is also accessible internationally in countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom.

Top Executives at BET Network

BET Network, formerly known as Black Entertainment Television, has a team of top executives who are responsible for the company's success. This team includes talented individuals who bring unique skills and expertise to the table.

Debra L. Lee, Former Chairman and CEO

Debra L. Lee was the former Chairman and CEO of BET Network. She was responsible for leading the company in its mission to create and distribute content that celebrates the African American experience. Lee is considered a pioneer in the media industry and has received numerous awards for her leadership and contributions to the industry.

Scott M. Mills, Current President

Scott M. Mills is the current President of BET Network. He has over 20 years of experience in the media industry and has been with BET Network since 1997. Mills is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company and ensuring that BET Network stays true to its mission of creating content that resonates with the African American community.

Amy DuBois Barnett, EVP and General Manager

Amy DuBois Barnett is the Executive Vice President and General Manager at BET Network. She is responsible for overseeing the programming, production and editorial content of all BET Networks platforms. She brings to the table a wealth of experience in both print and digital media, having worked for publications such as Harper's Bazaar and Teen People.

Connie Orlando, EVP and Head of Programming

Connie Orlando is the Executive Vice President and Head of Programming at BET Network. She is responsible for overseeing the development and production of all BET Network's programming. Orlando has over 20 years of experience in the media industry and has worked for various networks such as CBS and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Together, these executives lead BET Network in its efforts to create and distribute content that celebrates the African American experience. Through their leadership, BET Network continues to be a powerful voice in the media industry.

New Developments at BET Network

BET+ Launches New Original Series

BET+, the streaming service of BET Network, recently premiered its new original series "Ruthless." Produced by Tyler Perry, "Ruthless" is a spin-off of the popular series "The Oval" and follows a woman who escapes a sinister cult and tries to start a new life. The series has received positive reviews and has been praised for its thrilling plot and strong performances.

BET Awards Goes Virtual

The annual BET Awards ceremony, which celebrates the achievements of African American artists in music, film, and sports, was held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event featured performances by popular artists such as Megan Thee Stallion, Alicia Keys, and Chloe x Halle, as well as inspiring speeches and tributes to essential workers and Black Lives Matter activists.

BET Network Expands Footprint

BET Network has been expanding its reach by partnering with international brands and launching in new countries. In 2020, BET Africa was launched in South Africa and BET France was launched in France, bringing the network's programming to new audiences. Additionally, BET has partnered with platforms like Pluto TV and Sky in the UK to extend its distribution.

Future of BET Network

The Evolution of BET Network

BET Network was founded in 1980 and has since undergone significant changes in terms of ownership and programming. The network originally focused on music videos and African-American-centric programming, but has expanded its scope over the years to include news, documentaries, and scripted content. As the media landscape continues to evolve, so does BET Network.

The Digital Age and BET Network

With the rise of digital media and streaming services, traditional cable networks like BET Network are facing new competition and challenges. However, BET Network has adapted by launching its own streaming service, BET Plus, which features exclusive content and is available for a monthly subscription fee. This move positions BET Network to compete in the digital space and reach a wider audience.

The Future of BET Network

As we look to the future, BET Network is poised to continue evolving and adapting to the changing media landscape. With a focus on diverse programming and engaging content, the network has the potential to continue thriving and reaching new audiences. As of 2022, the network is still owned by ViacomCBS, but it remains to be seen if any changes in ownership or strategy will occur in the future. Nevertheless, BET Network’s commitment to telling diverse stories and engaging with its audience suggests it will continue to play an important role in the media industry.

BET Network's Competitors

1. TV One

TV One is a television network that caters to the African American audience, just like BET Network. It is available in over 59 million homes, making it a significant competitor of BET Network.

2. OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

OWN is a cable network co-owned by Oprah Winfrey and Discovery, Inc. It features programming that caters to African American women primarily but has gained popularity among other demographics as well.

3. Aspire

Aspire is a television network that focuses on uplifting positive portrayals of African American life and culture.

4. Revolt TV

Revolt TV is a music-oriented television network that showcases hip-hop and R&B artists. It is owned by rapper and businessman, Sean "Diddy" Combs.

5. Bounce TV

Bounce TV is a broadcast television network that features a mix of acquired and original content, with a focus on African American programming.

All of these competitors have carved out a niche in the television market, and they compete with BET Network for viewership and advertising dollars. However, BET Network remains the most-watched network among African American audiences, with a loyal following that dates back to its founding in 1980.

BET Network's Finances and Revenue

Financial Overview

BET Network's financial performance has been relatively strong in recent years. The company's revenue has grown steadily, with 2021 marking its highest revenue to date. BET Network's revenue is primarily generated through advertising sales, as well as cable and satellite carriage fees.

Revenue Growth In 2021, BET Network’s revenue reached a new high of $1.08 billion, up from $1.03 billion in the previous year. This growth can be attributed to continued investment in original programming and a strong advertising market.

Advertising Sales Advertising sales remain the primary source of revenue for BET Network. The company has continued to increase its advertising rates as demand for their programming grows. BET Network has also diversified its advertising revenue streams by partnering with social media platforms to offer digital advertising.

Cable and Satellite Carriage Fees Cable and satellite carriage fees are another important revenue stream for BET Network. The company negotiates fee rates with cable and satellite providers to ensure that their channels are included in provider lineups. As BET Network’s programming becomes more popular, the company is able to negotiate higher fee rates.

Future Outlook

BET Network is poised to continue its strong financial performance in the coming years. The company has invested heavily in original programming, which has proven to be popular with audiences. As demand for BET Network's programming continues to grow, the company is well-positioned to increase its revenue through advertising sales and carriage fees. Additionally, BET Network's recent partnership with streaming services has given the company an additional revenue stream and ensures that the company is able to reach a wider audience.

The Impact of BET Network on Black Culture

BET Network has had a significant impact on black culture since its inception in 1980. The network was created to provide programming for Black Americans and has become a mainstay in the entertainment industry. BET Network's impact is evident through the shows and music that have been produced on the network.

One of the most significant contributions of BET is the platform it has provided for Black artists. BET has helped to launch the careers of many black artists, such as Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Rihanna. BET has also given Black actors and actresses the opportunity to showcase their talents and has sparked important conversations around representation in the entertainment industry.

BET Network has also provided a platform for stories that are important to Black Americans. The network has produced shows that have tackled issues such as police brutality, the war on drugs, and the impact of poverty on Black communities. These shows have helped to promote understanding and education about the experiences of Black Americans.

BET Network's impact on Black culture can be seen in the many talented artists it has helped to launch, the important conversations it has sparked, and the stories it has told. The network has been a vital part of the entertainment industry and will continue to shape Black culture for years to come.

Controversies Surrounding BET Network

The Black Entertainment Television (BET) network has not been without its share of controversies, especially in recent years. One major issue that the network has faced is criticism over its programming and how it portrays African Americans.

Some have argued that BET's programming reinforces negative stereotypes and does not accurately represent the diversity within the black community. The network has also been criticized for its lack of original programming and for relying heavily on reality shows and reruns of popular sitcoms from the 90s.

In addition to programming concerns, BET has also faced controversy over its treatment of employees. Former employees have spoken out about discrimination and mistreatment within the company, including allegations of sexism and racism.

BET has also been caught up in legal issues, including a lawsuit filed by Viacom (the parent company of BET) against a former executive for embezzlement. The network has also been sued by musicians and production companies for allegedly not paying royalties or properly crediting their work.

  • Overall, BET continues to face criticism and controversy over its programming, treatment of employees, and legal issues.
  • As the network grows and changes ownership, it remains to be seen how these controversies will be addressed and resolved in the future.

BET Awards and Other Major Programming

BET Network is known for its entertainment programming that appeals to the Black audience. One of the most highly anticipated events is the annual BET Awards ceremony, which recognizes Black excellence in music, film, sports, and other fields. The event features performances from top artists and appearances by celebrity guests.

In addition to the BET Awards, the network also boasts other major programming such as the BET Hip Hop Awards, Black Girls Rock!, and the Soul Train Awards. These events celebrate Black culture and showcase the talents of Black artists and entertainers.

Beyond awards shows, BET Network offers a variety of original programming, including reality shows, dramas, comedies, and documentaries. Some of the most popular shows on the network include The Game, Being Mary Jane, and Real Husbands of Hollywood.

  • Reality shows like Baldwin Hills, College Hill, and Harlem Heights follow the lives of young Black people navigating their careers, relationships, and personal challenges.
  • Dramas like American Soul and Boomerang explore the complexities of Black life and culture.
  • Comedies like Tyler Perry's House of Payne and Martin offer laughs and relatable family dynamics.
  • Documentaries like Copwatch America and Charged: The DA vs. Black America shed light on important social issues affecting Black communities.

BET's Digital Presence and Strategy

BET has expanded its presence in the digital space by launching various online platforms and mobile apps. The network's website provides up-to-date news, articles, and videos on pop culture, entertainment, and news-related topics. BET also offers a streaming service known as BET+, which features original content and classic shows from the network's library.

To cater to the rise of mobile usage, the network has developed mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices. These apps give users access to exclusive content, live streaming of BET shows, and personalized recommendations. Furthermore, BET has an active presence on social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, where it engages with its audience and promotes its content.

BET’s digital strategy involves leveraging technology to deliver quality content, expand its audience reach, and increase its revenue. The network partners with other media companies to distribute its content and monetize digital offerings. Also, BET uses data analytics to understand its audience’s preferences and behavior, creating personalized experiences and recommendations.

Overall, BET’s digital presence and strategy have allowed the network to evolve with the changing media landscape, reach a wider audience, and remain relevant in the digital age.