Whitney Houston: MTV, BET, VH1 low key in coverage
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Music channels such as MTV, VH1 and BET — which helped make Whitney Houston a video star but in recent years have shifted away from music videos — were modest in their coverage of the pop star’s death Saturday.
MTV aired a one-hour video tribute in honor of Houston at 8:30 p.m. PST, before returning to its regularly scheduled broadcasts, which now include such reality fare as ‘Teen Mom.’ Highlighting the irony, the network aired a screen crawl announcing her death during an airing of reality competition ‘The Challenge: Battle of the Exes.’ MTV News is pulling from 27-years of video archives for a tribute on Houston’s life to air later this week.
The network’s sister music channels, MTV Hits and MTV Jams, however, have been airing Houston’s videos nonstop, along with reactions from celebrities and Twitter comments from fans.
BET also broadcast a one-hour tribute to Houston, rather than airing a nonstop cycle of her videos (as some fans on Twitter were in search for). Sunday, the network will re-air the tribute, followed by an encore presentation of ‘BET Honors 2010,’ where Houston had been celebrated for her achievements. Later in the day, they will air Houston’s last televised performance, ‘Celebration of Gospel 2011.’ On Monday, ‘106 & Park’ will have a three-hour special episode paying tribute to the singer.
VH1 aired a marathon of her videos Saturday night and continued Sunday morning with her top dance videos. ‘It takes Whitney Houston’s death for VH1 to play music videos,’ one Twitter user pointed out. The network will also air ‘VH1 News Special: Whitney Houston: Death of a Diva’ on Monday. And next week’s ‘100 Greatest Women in Music’ will include a salute to Houston. Later in the week, the network will air a special on the singer’s greatest moments. On Tuesday, VH1 Classic will offer a catalog of Houston’s videos.
— Yvonne Villarreal