Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Hello ATL or Houston? – BET Awards to Exit Los Angeles After 16 Years?

*According to reports, the contract for the BET Awards, which have been held at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles since 2013, ends this year. This paves the way for the show to move to a different city.

“They don’t want to renew,” a source shared with Anita Bennett’s Urban Hollywood 411, adding that management is mulling making changes to the show following the departure last month of BET Networks chairman and CEO, Debra Lee.

AEG owns L.A. Live, a large entertainment campus that includes the Staples Center, Microsoft Theater, a movie theater, hotels, restaurants and the Grammy Museum. The 2018 BET Awards took place inside the Microsoft Theater.

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The cable network has turned the awards, which celebrate African-American achievement in entertainment and sports, into a four-day festival called the BET Experience.

The multi-day event offers concerts, panel discussions and seminars in the days leading up to the BET Awards.

While L.A. Live has different venues available for all of the activities, the source said the network wants the event to be “more like Coachella,” noting that L.A. Live is also “too restrictive,” and that “there’s so many things that they don’t allow.”

The insider claims BET’s management team is considering moving the awards to Atlanta, Houston or Austin. But according to a joint statement, they’re planning future negotiations to extend the L.A. Live contract.

“BET and AEG executives are reviewing the just concluded 2018 BET Experience weekend and will begin discussing a contract extension for the 2019 event in the near future,” the statement said.

The BET Awards launched in Las Vegas in 2001 and moved to L.A. the following year. Since then, the show has been held at the Kodak Theatre (now the Dolby Theatre), the Shrine Auditorium and L.A. Live.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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