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    BET Holdings Inc.
    list rank

    From the April 28, 1997 Washington Post


    '96 (in $ 000s) % Change From '95
    Revenue 132,000 14.6
    Net Income 22,000 10.6
    Rank Last Year: 62

    Description:
    BET owns Black Entertainment Television, a cable TV network featuring news and entertainment geared toward African American viewers and available in about 46 million homes served by cable. It also operates BET on Jazz, a smaller cable network specializing in jazz music; a pay TV network called Action Pay-Per-View; and a direct marketing subsidiary, BET Direct. It has an interest in Emerge, a news magazine specializing in issues of concern to African Americans.

    Business Resume:
    • Contact Info --
      1900 W Place NE
      Washington, D.C. 20018
      202-608-2000
    • Main Business --
      Cable television
    • Founded --
      1980
    • Chairperson --
      Robert L. Johnson (CEO)
    • President --
      Debra L. Lee
    • Employees --
      486
    • D.C.-Area Employees --
      382
    Developments:
    As usual, the company's growth was driven by the Black Entertainment Television cable channel, its largest unit. The channel continues to supply the cash that its parent company uses to expand into other media-entertainment ventures, all targeted to African American consumers.

    For example, BET and software giant Microsoft Corp. formed MSBET, an online site on the World Wide Web that contains news and entertainment. BET Soundstage, the first of a planned chain of BET-themed restaurants, opened in January in Prince George's County near the USAir Arena. And BET has teamed with the Hilton Hotels Corp. to study developing a $200 million casino and hotel in Las Vegas. The companies estimate that 2.2 million black people visit Las Vegas each year.

    Two ventures that didn't work out for BET in the past year were YSB, a magazine for young blacks, and BET Shop, a home-shopping program that aired on the cable network. YSB was closed in October after five years of publication and a loss of $1.9 million in fiscal 1996. The shopping program, produced in conjunction with Home Shopping Network Inc., was canceled at the end of last year after about 15 months on BET.

    Copyright 1997 The Washington Post

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