Media moguls Tyler Perry and Byron Allen are in talks with Paramount Global to buy majority stakes in its subsidiary, the BET Media Group, Variety Magazine has confirmed. Paramount Global is looking to sell BET Media Group in a bid to shore up finances.
The BET Media Group includes the cable channel BET and VH1, which cater primarily to Black audiences. Sources familiar with the situation say that Paramount needs the additional finance to support its flagship streaming service and streaming platform Pluto TV.
According to informed sources in the industry, Paramount, which also owns CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Pictures, needs the financial resources to help its premier streaming service, Paramount+, as a serious competitor to Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney. Minority stakeholders in BET include Rashida Jones, Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, and Kenya Barris.
Tyler Perry already owns a minority stake in BET and has an ongoing partnership with Paramount Global to create shows for the studio.Perry has so far produced over 20 movies and a dozen television series. According to the Hollywood Reporter negotiations between Tyler Perry and Paramount are in the initial stages.
Vying for the majority ownership of PET with Perry is another suitor, Byron Allen, owner of Allen Media Broadcasting, who controls the Weather Channel and a number of local TV stations. A representative for Allen told the media: “Byron Allen is interested in buying BET, and he will be pursuing the acquisition of the network.”