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Everything We Know About The Potential Sale of BET Media Group

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
From entertainment vets Tyler Perry and Byron Allen to music mogul Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, the race to buy BET is prevalent – and Boardroom is breaking it down.

Paramount Global announced that it is considering selling the majority of stake to BET Media Group ran by CEO Scott Mills which includes BET cable network and studio, VH1, and the streaming service BET+. 

In a report from the Wall Street Journal, the decision to consider selling a majority stake of the assets, which cater primarily to Black audiences, is part of the entertainment giant’s effort to shore up resources to bolster its flagship Paramount+ streaming service and its advertiser-supported free streaming platform Pluto TV. 

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The company shared the importance of having a Black investor buy the company. According to the Wall Street Journal, Paramount Global recently rejected a $3 billion deal for its premium cable network Showtime

Tyler Perry accepts the Ultimate Icon Award onstage at the 2019 BET Awards (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The decision not to sell stemmed from the company betting it would save and generate revenue. Through this choice, the company hopes to exceed the initial earnings they could get selling Showtime, including shows like “Billions” and “Yellowjackets.”

Paramount Global is experiencing the hardships and gambles it must participate in to compete in the ever-changing landscape of media conglomerates. The company has experienced declining subscribers as it lost $575 million in the last quarter. 

“Our content and platform strategy is working, and with even more exceptional content coming this year, we expect to return the company to earnings growth in 2024,” said CEO Bob Bakish. 

As the race continues to determine the possible winning investor of BET Media Group, here are the contenders for the potential company purchase.

Tyler Perry

Perry is known for the dozens of movies and television series, such as the “Madea” movie franchise and shows like Sistas and Meet the Browns. According to the Wall Street Journal, Perry and Paramount have had a well-established relationship. With his production studio, he has an overall deal to create shows for Paramount and has a minority stake in Paramount’s BET+ streaming service.

Byron Allen

Byron Allen on stage at the Byron Allen Oscar Gala (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images for Allen Media Group / Byron Allen)

Allen is a media entrepreneur who owns media assets such as The Weather Channel and several local television stations like TheGrio, HBCU Go and Local Now. He recently acquired the Black News Channel for $11 million. For Allen, the media expansion of his cable business is the goal to add to his portfolio.

Group Black

According to the New York Times, Group Black, a media company in Miami run by Black executives Travis Montaque, Bonin Bough and Richelieu Dennis, has expressed interest in a bid with CVC Capital Partners. To round out the bid, Montaque, the chief executive, has reached out to prominent Black business owners and artists to team up.

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs

A source close to Combs tells Variety that he is exploring the opportunity to purchase BET as a part of his strategy to build a Black-owned global media powerhouse. Combs currently owns the media company REVOLT that he launched in 2013, which serves as a content hub for media platforms such as REVOLT TV, Revolt.tv and podcasts starring City Girls rapper Yung Miami and Hollywood Unlocked founder Jason Lee. Though he is entering the race, he is not yet considered to be in talks with Paramount to purchase a majority stake.