Wouldn’t it be nice to see Black people take ownership of Black Entertainment Television again? Well, Paramount Global is exploring the sale of a majority stake in BET Media, and one person who has expressed interest in purchasing is none other than movie and television mogul Tyler Perry.
Perry, who has a strong relationship with BET CEO Scott Mills as well as Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish, has expressed interest to Paramount in owning the asset as his own producing deal with BET is coming to an end. He supplies a large portion of the scripted content on BET and BET+, and is a partner with Paramount on the streaming service launched in 2019.
It’s early days and given BET’s iconic status within Black culture and the Black creative community, it could see interest from other Black high-net worth individuals or minority-owned institutions. A person familiar with the situation said Paramount would maintain a minority stake as well as commercial agreements with BET for content across its platforms in any deal.
The division includes the BET linear networks, BET+, BET Studios, launched in 2021 with partners Kenya Barris, Rashida Jones and Aaron Rashon Thomas, and VH1, which was moved under the BET umbrella last year.
But Perry might end up in a bidding war against another Black giant in the entertainment industry because media mogul Byron Allen is also in the mix of contenders to purchase BET.
“Byron Allen is interested in buying BET, and he will be pursuing the acquisition of the network,” a spokesman for the Allen Media Group said in a statement.
Last year, Allen, who already had under his ownership The Weather Channel, TheGrio, Comedy.tv and 24 local TV stations, acquired HBCUGo.TV, a streaming service that features content from 105 historically Black colleges and universities across the country. So, it’s no surprise he’s also looking to add BET to his ever-growing list of media platforms.
Of course, with the esteemed owner of Tyler Perry Studios as his potential adversary in the venture, it’s a tough call to see how this one will shake out.
Good luck to both men. I’m just rooting for it to be somebody Black, to be honest. See how Twitter’s reacting to the news below.
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