BET J has become Centric
BET J was initially created in 1996 by Bob Johnson as a spin-off channel to BET called BET on Jazz. After a few years of being BET on Jazz, the network simply became BET Jazz. The initial focus on the network was to be everything to fans of jazz music.
Over time, the Jazz was dropped from BET Jazz and it was simply rebranded as BET J. Also, the focus shifted from jazz music to simply becoming another BET-type channel with music videos and reruns. The reruns that were shown on BET around two years ago are now aired on BET J.
Still, these reruns have built the network into a brand. For the past few years, though, BET has been facing serious competition from the Radio One-owned cable network, TV One. The network targets an older demographic of black people and they have eaten away at BET during its existence.
The eating away is supposed to stop sometime next month. Sometime in October of this year, BET J will make yet another change. BET J will be making the move from their current name to Centric. With this name change will bring some new programming, but some from BET J will remain.
Also, for the first time, this network will finally have a targeted niche as opposed to simply floating around out there. As Centric, the network will become the main rival to TV One, giving BET the freedom to continue to flirt with the younger audiences. They will now have more freedom with Centric taking on TV One directly.
While it has yet to be seen if this rebranding effort will be successful, the venture is backed by BET’s sister company, MTV. They plan to do everything in their power to take on TV One and begin eating away at their audience.
Yesterday, September 28, 2009, BET J officially became Centric.