Byron Allen and Tyler Perry Watch BET as Paramount Explores Selling Majority Stake – Deadline

UPDATE with Interest of Byron Allen: Byron Allen said he wanted to buy BET as Paramount Global considered selling the asset. He is the second suitor after Tyler Perry, who has also reportedly expressed interest.

“Byron Allen is interested in purchasing BET, and will pursue the acquisition of the network,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

PREVIOUSLY: Tyler Perry is eyeing BET Media as parent company Paramount Global explores selling a majority stake in the division.

Perry, who has a close relationship with BET CEO Scott Mills as well as Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish, has expressed interest in Paramount owning the asset as his own production deal with BET touches on his END. It provides much of the scripted content on BET and BET+, and is a Paramount partner 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 spark interest from other affluent black people or minority institutions. A person familiar with the situation said Paramount would retain a minority stake as well as commercial agreements with BET for content on its platforms in any deal.

Paramount has been clear about its desire to explore fundraising opportunities, including an attempted sale of publisher Simon & Shuster.

His move to BET Media was first reported in the the wall street journal. The company declined to comment.

The division includes linear networks BET, BET+, BET Studios, which launched in 2021 with partners Kenya Barris, Rashida Jones and Aaron Rashon Thomas, and VH1, which moved under the BET umbrella last year.

BET, or Black Entertainment Television, was founded by Robert Johnson in 1980, the first cable channel to cater to black audiences. It was acquired by Viacom in 2001 in a deal worth $3 billion.

Paramount’s $2.2 billion deal to sell book publisher Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House fell through due to regulatory issues, but it’s made it clear it’s an asset non-essential and stays on the block. In recent years, he has sold the CBS NYC headquarters known as Black Rock and the CNet website. He declined offers for Showtime, announcing other plans for the asset, namely merging it with Paramount+ in streaming and linear television.

As the parent company shifts to streaming, like most major media companies, it spends heavily on content and anticipates peak losses in that business this year.

The company declined to comment. Par’s general interest in selling a majority stake in BET was first reported in The Wall Street Journal.

The talks around BET come as chatter about mergers and acquisitions heats up in various pockets of media and entertainment. Lachlan Murdoch said recently that Fox Corp. will actively pursue it, WME is looking to sell itself, Hulu could be up for grabs, and Cineworld is marketing its global theatrical assets as it seeks to emerge from bankruptcy, to name a few.

Leave a Comment