Paramount mulls selling majority stake in BET. Byron Allen, Tyler Perry express interest in buying

Such a deal would give Perry a streaming service. It would allow Allen to expand his cable footprint.

Paramount is considering selling a majority stake in BET, according to two sources, to secure cash that the company would use to fortify Paramount+, its primary streaming service.

The Hollywood Reporter said two unnamed sources told the entertainment outlet that Tyler Perry has expressed interest in purchasing the majority stake. Perry has been in partnership with Paramount for almost 6 years, and a number of his productions, such as “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and “The Oval,” air on the network.

However, Perry is not the only Black media titan interested in BET. “Byron Allen is interested in buying BET, and he will be pursuing the acquisition of the network,” a spokesperson for the founder and CEO of Allen Media Group said. Allen, who owns theGrio, also owns The Weather Channel, Local Now and dozens of local television stations. Such an acquisition would expand Allen’s cable and streaming services portfolio.

Byron Allen, Allen Media Group,
Byron Allen has expressed interested in purchasing a majority stake in BET, his spokesperson said. (Photo: Courtesy of Allen Media Group)

Both of The Hollywood Reporter’s sources stated a sale is not definite, and that discussions about selling the controlling stake are in early stages. The BET business includes VH1, BET+ and BET. Perry is one of BET+’s investor, according to Hollywood Reporter. Acquiring a majority stake in BET would give Perry a streaming service.

Deadline reports that Perry has a strong relationship with Scott Mills, BET’s CEO and Bob Bakish, the CEO of Paramount Global.

America’s first Black billionaires, Robert Johnson, and his former wife Sheila, co-founded BET in 1979 to offer programming specifically for Black people. According to Forbes, they sold the company in 2001 for $3 billion to Viacom, which later changed its name to Paramount.

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