BET Analysis - November 2011



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 curbed in recent months, giving movies a dominant, if not prominent role. Sunday night is a mix of programming, including movies, original series, encores, news specials and encores of specials.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / November 2011 vs. November 2010  (% 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

NOVEMBER 2011: Once again we get a minimalist BET this month, and once again we see small but positive growth on the bottom-line.  BET has essentially trimmed its programming down to justthree elements: original sitcoms; awards shows / specials and movies. The result was 5% growth on core women 18-49 vs. last month and 7% growth vs. last year.

REED BETWEEN THE LINES is BET’s third originally produced sitcom to air this year. Following on the heels of THE GAME’s success, REED is a family sitcom that is somewhat of an updated COSBY SHOW. The program debuted in BET's signature Tuesday night slot with respectable numbers last month, and the success continued into November. Eliminating last month's BET- HIP-HOP-AWARDS-inflated debut night from the equation, REED’s premiere night telecasts actually grew from October. It was just 6% growth on core women 18-49, but still growth. Better news for BET’s program schedulers is the repeatability of the program. Recent original programming has not been able to hold up to multiple encores through-out the week, and movies have stepped in to fill the programming holes. However, REED ran 8 new plus 18 repeat telecasts this month, helping to ease the burden on movies.

Awards shows and specials were a big component of the line-up as well this month, dominating the top-rated programs and telecast lists. Both annual shows THE SOUL TRAIN AWARDS and BLACK GIRLS ROCK premiered on Sunday nights in November, and pulled in strong ratings for the net, putting them in top-rated slots, by a wide margin above the rest of the pack. However, they underperformed last year’s shows by 5% and 22%. The pre-show to the SOUL TRAIN AWARDS did much better though, showing 12% improvement over last year, and pulling the number three slot this year.

And last but not least, the BET movies continue to hold the schedule together. Down to just 18 movies this month vs. 37 last month and 25 last year, ratings were off by low single digits. Top performing titles among core women 18-48 were Why Did I Get Married and Daddy’s Little Girls. Men are not a featured target group at BET, and we see male audiences becoming less important every month. However, there are still some movies on the air that target men. This month Notorious and Half Past Dead resonated with the male audience.