With a few heavy hitters already pining to purchase BET, another possible bid has entered the chat.
The latest interest comes from Shaq, 50 Cent, and Kenya Barris. According to TMZ, the trio has been in talks with Paramount, who currently owns the brand, about assuming a majority stake.
“Sources with direct knowledge tell us 50 and Kenya were spotted at the Paramount offices in NYC earlier this week to talk business, and the possibility of buying the network,” writes TMZ.
Exact numbers aren’t available, but 50 and Shaq are noted businessmen with countless sponsorships that round out impressive net worths. That, matched with Barris’ own bag and knowledge of the TV industry, can make for an impressive group looking to remold the network’s content and ownership team.
No one has signed on the dotted line yet, but a source close to the matter tells TMZ, “It’s not a done deal, but they’re deep in it.”
However, Shaq, 50 Cent, and Barris aren’t the only Black members of Hollywood with TV experience and interest in buying BET.
When it was first reported that Paramount would be interested in selling it, Diddy was the first reportedly interested party, who already owns Revolt, so the purchase would help his content imprint.
Other potential takers were Byron Allen, who owns a consistently growing list of platforms like The Weather Channel and TheGrio, and Tyler Perry, whose original programming is already prominent on BET.
BET was founded in 1980 by Robert Johnson Sheila Johnson and was purchased by Paramount (then known as Viacom) in 2000 for $2.3 billion.
See how Twitter reacted to the trio’s interest in buying the brand below.
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