BET Analysis

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The BET Monday - Friday schedule typically features a movie each night at 8 or 9 with original programming / encores filling the remaining hour. Premiere night for new series is Tuesday. The practice of scattering encores throughout the week has been curtailed (for the most part), giving movies a dominant, if not prominent role. Sunday night is an ever-changing mix of programming, including movies, original series, encores, news specials and encores of specials.


Live + Same Day Primetime Ratings Comparison / January 2013 vs. January 2012  (% Change)




Monday 8-11pm




Tuesday 8-11pm




Wednesday 8-11pm




Thursday 8-11pm




Friday 8-11pm




Saturday 8-11pm




Sunday 8-11pm




MTWTFSS 8-11pm




*Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

JANUARY 2013: BET started the new year with a refreshed line-up and a renewed focus on primetime programming. Two new programs on signature Tuesday nights and the return of COMICVIEW to Fridays shook things up, but not enough to have a significant impact on the bottom line. Adult 18-49 ratings fell by 6% vs. last year and improved by 3% vs. last month. While the adult audience didn’t move much, there were shifts in demographics. The audience is 19% older this year than last, with median age falling outside the 18-34 demo. The audience is slightly more male as well.

Signature Tuesday nights saw the premieres of REAL HUSBANDS OF HOLLYWOOD and SECOND GENERATION WAYANS on the 15th. HUSBANDS grabbed 4.1 million viewers while WAYANS drew 3.4 million, which, according to BET, is the first and second largest audience for a cable sitcom premiere of 2013 to date (just to be clear, that’s two weeks in). Both programs dropped 46% of their adult 18-49 ratings in the second week. (A 20% drop is more typical). In old-BET style, encores were scattered throughout the week, with one or both programs appearing on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Within two weeks, the two new episodes of HUSBANDS ran a total of nine times and the two new episodes of WAYANS ran eight times.

The movie average was down from last month when Roots ran away with the ratings. Movies were still relatively strong though, as evidenced by their 17% adult 18-49 growth over last year. Some of the better-performing titles were Madeas Family Reunion, Coach Carter and Love and Basketball Movie. Movies remain a key component of BET’s scheduling strategy, providing a solid programming base.

COMICVIEW: ONE MIC STAND was still running in three hour blocks on Friday nights. Repeats of HUSBANDS and WAYANS and a movie took over from 9 to11PM towards the end of the month. Ratings were off by 23% for women 18-49 and up 5% for men 18-49 vs. last month’s performance.

Sundays can host marquee programming on BET, but this month was filled with movies and encores. The exception was the annual UNICEF: EVENING OF THE STARS special, which performed slightly below the primetime average. Of note, Sunday’s audience is the oldest of the week by a good five years.