The news that the BET Awards, now in their 20th year, will make their “national broadcast premiere” on CBS on Sunday (June 28) was most welcome -- if long overdue.
It’s not that fans can’t find BET or BET HER (which will also air the show) on their TVs, but that what airs on the so-called legacy networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) confers a certain prestige and sense of cultural importance. The move could also could broaden the show’s audience beyond its core fans.
Two other major Black music and Black culture award shows do not currently air on legacy networks. The Soul Train Music Awards have aired on BET and Centric/BET HER since 2009. From 1987 to 2007, they aired on WGN America and in first-run syndication.