BET Media Group appears to be in line for a potential bidding war. BET Media includes the BET network, BET+ streaming service, BET Studios, and VH1. The BET Soundstage at Walt Disney World’s Pleasure Island entertainment complex was torn down in 2008.

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

Now actor, filmmaker, and studio owner Tyler Perry has, according to The Wall Street Journal, expressed interest in acquiring a majority stake in the Group from Paramount Global. Paramount has been said to be exploring sales opportunities for a while.

Perry already has a deal to make content for Paramount via his own production studio, and already has a minority stake in the BET+ service, with his scripted content going direct to the service.


He won’t get it all his own way though. Reuters report that Allen Media GroupMedia, under Byron Allen, is also in the race. They report, simply, that:

“Byron Allen is interested in buying BET, and he will be pursuing the acquisition of the network.”

Paramount would keep a minority stake, and no doubt content deals would be part of any sales opportunity being explored.

Approximately 88,255,000 American households (75.8% of households with television) receive a channel from this network, mainly through package deals. The network has been widely criticized in the African-American community, and accused of perpetuating negative stereotypes held about African-Americans.

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