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(Black entertainment Television)

On this day – Jan 25th 1980
BET (Black Entertainment Television) (the first black owned company to be listed on the New York stock exchange) first aired. The company was launched by Robert L. Johnson who used to be a lobbyist for the cable tv industry in the 70’s. Johnson wanted to reach African American audiences through cable TV which was picking up in popularity. BET actually predates MTV. And started as mainly music videos, and later expanded to shows, comedies and even political topics. Shows such as Bobby Jones Gospel, video soul, rap city, even sports programming like black college football was featured. And let’s not forget the great classic, In Living Color.

BET was sold to Viamcom Inc. for 3 billion, which eliminated the black ownership, but it did elivate Johnson to billionaire status. technically BET is owned by Paramount Global through CBS Entertainment Group

Read more about BET here