BET International

BET International (Black Entertainment Television) was a British-irish free-to-air television channel centred towards black culture. Before its replacement with a domestic version, it also aired in Africa, along with the Middle East/North Africa region. It was launched on 27 February 2008 in the UK[1] with headquarters in London. BET broadcast content from the main Black Entertainment Television channel in the US and Canada. No UK-originated content was ever produced for the channel.[2][3]

BET International
BET Logo.svg
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom
The Middle East
South Korea
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Picture format16:9 576i SDTV
OwnerViacomCBS Networks International
Launched27 February 2008; 13 years ago (2008-02-27)
Closed8 April 2021; 5 months ago (2021-04-08)
Streaming media
Virgin TV AnywhereWatch live (UK only)


BET International Inc. was given a licence to broadcast in the UK in May 2007 by Ofcom. In 2006 it was announced that BET would hold its first annual Hip-Hop Awards and as part of the announcement they also stated there would be a "Best UK Artist" category, the winner being Sway.[4]


BET launched on the Sky platform in the UK on 27 February 2008, one day earlier than originally advertised. It began with various BET content, such as 106 & Park, American Gangster and College Hill. The channel is available on Sky channel 194. The channel launched on Freesat in August 2008, on channel 140. BET +1 was added to Freesat when it launched in late 2008.[5] These signals are also available for free in the rest of Europe via satellite Eutelsat 28A. At the start of July 2009, a temporary HD event channel for the BET Awards 2009 was carried by Freesat.[6]

BET was available in Kenya on Zuku on channel 125[7] and on startimes on channel 132.[8]

The channel was available on Pan-African Satellite Broadcaster DStv on Channel 135 until 2 April 2015 when it was replaced with a domestic BET feed, which includes local shows alongside BET International's programming.

BET International was removed from StarSat in South Africa, and StarTimes across Africa on 30 November 2015.

On 4 November 2014, BET +1 closed, and was replaced by 5* +1 on Sky.

As of 5 May 2020, BET was removed from Freesat.

It was announced on 30 March 2021 that BET would shut down as a linear TV channel on 8 April 2021. BET International's content was disbursed among the My5 and Pluto TV streaming services, and will also be carried on Paramount+ upon its 2022 pan-European launch.[9]


The network aired most of the programming originated and produced by the American BET network, along with select programmes from MTV and VH1. It also carried acquired Black-focused American and British sitcoms which originally aired on terrestrial networks in both countries.


  1. ^ "BET Networks Announces the Launch of BET in the UK". BET Networks. 2008-02-20. Archived from the original on 2008-03-08.
  2. ^ "Black TV network to expand to UK". Digital Spy. 2007-06-20.
  3. ^ "BET comes to Britain". The Voice. 2007-06-28. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
  4. ^ "T.I., Busta Rhymes And Chamillionaire Top Nominees List For 1st Annual "BET Hip Hop Awards"". The Voice. 2006-10-13. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30.
  5. ^ "BET Comes to the U.K." 2008-02-28. Archived from the original on 2008-06-11.
  6. ^ "Freesat brings BET HD to UK". Digital Spy. 2009-06-25.
  7. ^ "Channels Line-Ups". Zuku. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  8. ^ [1] Archived June 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ BET goes all digital in UK with My5 shift Digital TV Europe. 30 March 2021. Retrieved 6 April 2021