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Black Entertainment Television Driving Business To The Caribbean
By Mi2N
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Top American television network, BET, Black Entertainment Television, considers itself a key stakeholder in the travel and tourism industry and wants to play a bigger role driving business to the region.

Speaking on the eve of CMExPress, the Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism one-day workshop, slated to open in Kingston on Friday, Cybelle Brown, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing of BET Digital Networks/BET Jazz, said her organisation currently drives a lot of business to the region through its programming, marketing expertise, and successful production of Jazz Festivals across the region, and they want to do more.

"BET Jazz will continue to support Caribbean Tourism and the initiatives of CMEx," said Brown, a national of St. Lucia, home of the one world's best jazz festivals. "We do this throughout the year through extensive promotion of many destinations on the BET Networks, annual sponsorships of events and through the development of Caribbean programming which we not only air on BET and BET Jazz, but also on our sister channels: VH1 and MTV Digital Networks."

"BET is a phenomenal resource which enhances destinations by not only bringing the best international talent to the Caribbean it also stimulates local music," noted Lelei LeLaulu of Counterpart International, producers of CMExPress. "With limited tourism dollars for marketing the Caribbean, it makes absolute business sense to team with television professionals who understand the Caribbean and US markets, who can negotiate cost effective cable airtime packages and deliver results to boot," he said.

As a production company and a subsidiary of BET Jazz, BET Event Productions is uniquely positioned to offer clients a lot more than a well-produced festival. BET's festival production packages are tied to an extensive US/Caribbean marketing campaign, utilizing all of its media resources.

Since the company's purchase by the multi-billion dollar media giant Viacom in 2001, BET Jazz has been able to bring the resources of Viacom-owned properties to the table, providing access to media giants as VH1, MTV, CBS, Infinity Outdoor and Infinity radio.

BET Jazz and BEP have been the producers of the successful St. Lucia Jazz Festival and Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival since their inception and also produce the Bermuda Music Festival and the Anguilla Tranquility Jazz Festival. The companies also mount festivals in Ghana, West Africa, Iceland, New York and very soon, India.

BET's global audience includes several television stations throughout the Caribbean, from Jamaica to Trinidad.

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