April 16, 2013

Bishop T.D. Jakes, Kirk Franklin, Kierra Sheard More Attend BET Networks 2013 ‘Upfront’

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Written by: Darryl Jones
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BET is in a fight to maintain loyalty from African American women viewers, and the faith-based community is a beneficiary of it.

In a bid to stay on top and keep advertisers spending money, the Viacom-owned network showed off some of the newest faces of BET, poised to draw millions more viewers—among them, prominent Christians.

Bishop T.D. Jakes, Kierra and J. Drew Sheard II, Kirk Franklin, and more, were invited to BET Networks 2013 Chicago Upfront, an event held at the Sax Hotel in Chicago, IL Thursday, April 11, 2013


“You look better on BET,” was the not-so-subtle message aimed at advertisers, as well as the overall theme of the showcase inscribed on the photo backdrop.

With Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry aiming to take a big bite out of the coveted black women’s market, BET refuses to give up its share of an audience it has been building for 30 years.

“We’re going to let them know they are in a fight,” Louis Carr, BET’s president of ad sales, told Broadcasting & Cable in an interview. “We built it. We’re not letting it go.”


BET boasts being No. 1 among 400 media brands, beating out ESPN, TV ONE, Centric, and OWN, and they are intent on keeping it that way.

The networks new talk show T.D. Jakes: Mind, Body and Soul, hosted by the Dallas mega pastor with more than 30,000 congregants and millions of followers around the world, is expected to deliver stellar ratings.

While many African American viewers of faith are thankful to see more uplifting programming aimed at black audiences, the real underlying motive is not morality. It’s money.

Black consumers hold $1 trillion in buying power, $600 billion of which, BET viewers control, according to Carr.

About the Author

Darryl Jones
Darryl L. Jones is a writer/editor who has worked for online sports outlets such as Examiner and Yahoo Sports. He is grounded in faith and determined to achieve his goals in life. Fort Valley State University Alum. Sports aficionado.