Paramount Global, the parent company behind networks like MTV, CMT, and Comedy Central is looking to sell a part of its fleet. The company is exploring a potential sale of a majority stake in BET Media Group. This would include BET, VH1, and the BET+ streaming service. The potential buyer? Tyler Perry.
Tyler Perry has expressed interest to Paramount about buying the stake as his own producing deal with BET is coming to an end. The deal, which began in 2017, details that the filmmaker provides a large portion of scripted content on BET and BET+.
Paramount executives believe BET may be particularly valued by wealthy Black individuals and institutions. Thus, unlocking value for the media asset in ways that are more difficult under its current corporate ownership. If a deal closes, Paramount would maintain a minority stake as well as commercial agreements with BET for content across its platforms in any deal.
However, Tyler Perry may have some bidding competition. Another potential suitor is Byron Allen. He controls several local TV stations as well as The Weather Channel. “Byron Allen is interested in buying BET, and he will be pursuing the acquisition of the network,” a rep for the mogul told The Hollywood Reporter.
Selling a majority stake in BET Group would allow Paramount Global to get added capital. The extra funding will be spent on programming for Paramount+ and Pluto TV. The company has also attempted to sell publisher Simon & Shuster. The $2.2 billion deal to sell to Penguin Random House fell through on regulatory concerns.
For both Perry and Allen, this acquisition would give each more cable reach and the ability to expand the reach of both their individual brands. It would also give BET the ability to work with more brands that are interested in spending ad dollars with minority-owned media companies.