Tyler Perry reportedly interested in buying majority stake in BET as Paramount looks to sell
Tyler Perry is reportedly interested in acquiring a majority stake in BET Media Group, as Paramount Global looks to sell its controlling stake of the media unit.
The Wall Street Journal was first to report Monday that Paramount was interesting in selling its stake in BET Media — which includes cable channels BET and VH1 and streaming service BET+ — as it looks to streamline operations and bolster its principal streaming service, Paramount+.
The Journal later reported that Perry — a billionaire writer, actor and producer who currently owns a minority stake in BET+ — was in talks to take a majority interest in BET Media, which caters largely to Black audiences.
According to the Journal, BET Media’s minority-investor setup complicates its integration with Paramount+. Aside from Perry, writer/producer Kenya Barris and actress/producer Rashida Jones are among those owning stakes in BET Studios.
Perry has longstanding relationships with both BET and Paramount, including a deal to create shows for Paramount through his eponymous studio. The Journal reported that if Perry were to acquire a majority stake, BET and Paramount would continue to have a working relationship.
Perry is apparently not the only one interested in acquiring BET: Byron Allen, who owns The Weather Channel among other media holdings, is also pursuing a deal, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In January, Paramount Global announced that Paramount+ and Showtime would essentially merge later this year, and in February, Chief Executive Bob Bakish said Paramount+ will raise its subscription prices later this year as well.
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