ViacomCBS is closing the linear channel of black entertainment brand BET in the UK and moving all of its content to sibling streamers My5 and Pluto TV, with a raft of local originals in the works.
BET UK’s shift to an all-digital brand will happen on 8 April, with My5 becoming the brand’s official home. A BET UK channel will also debut on Pluto TV on 5 April, following similar launches on the AVOD service in Brazil and France.
ViacomCBS said that the service would continue to offer content from its US parent such as Tyler Perry’s The Oval and Sistas, alongside a new slate of UK originals including Celebrity Comfort Food, social first series Black To The Future (working title) and We Do That.
BET UK has also announced BETAmplifind UK, which will showcase up and coming local musical talent, with other shows in the works.
BET content has been available via UK streamer My5 since 2018, with the brand claiming five consecutive quarters of YoY growth according to ViacomCBS. The company said the shift to all-digital in the UK “forms part of a wider strategic plan for BET international with a focus on amplifying distribution, local programming and closer collaboration with talent, both on and off camera.”
Monde Twala, SVP of BET International, said: “We are committed to growing the BET brand in the UK, and to continuing to elevate Black love, joy, power and pride worldwide BET is an authentic destination for Black culture globally and we are certain this move will strengthen the brand presence in the UK as we super-serve lovers of Black culture with rich and diverse content across our streaming services.
“We want to shine a light on Black British culture and excellence while spotlighting a range of talented voices, storytellers and creatives. By investing in local content and focusing our UK future on streaming, we can connect with a larger base of fans in a deeper, authentic and more meaningful way.”