Home » African-American billionaire Tyler Perry reaffirms interest in BET acquisition, says he’s ‘very, very interested’

African-American billionaire Tyler Perry reaffirms interest in BET acquisition, says he’s ‘very, very interested’

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Tyler Perry

African-American filmmaker and billionaire businessman Tyler Perry has reaffirmed his interest in acquiring BET Media Group, a U.S. basic cable channel that targets African-American viewers. 

Perry, who presently owns a minority stake in BET Media Group, as well as BET+, a high-end digital streaming platform, is “very, very interested” in acquiring Paramount’s majority stake in the television network if presented with the opportunity.

This comes in the wake of media mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs’ announcement that, “It’s time for BET to be Black-owned again,” and his intention to bid for the network.

Perry, like Combs, believes that ownership of the company by a Black person would be significant and meaningful.

In a recent interview, the African-American filmmaker confirmed his interest in acquiring BET, stating that he has been in a successful partnership with the company for four years and is “very, very interested in taking on as much of it as possible.”

He also commented on the recent interest from other wealthy Black individuals, such as Byron Allen and Combs, in acquiring BET, stating that the prospect of Black ownership is exciting and meaningful to him.

BET was launched in 1980 by Black businessman Robert L. Johnson as America’s first Black-owned cable television network. In 2001, BET was acquired by Viacom (now Paramount Global) in a landmark $3 billion deal that made Johnson the first Black billionaire.

Despite the change in ownership, BET continued to serve as a leading source of entertainment for African-American audiences, and in 2022 it generated an estimated revenue of $1.5 billion.

Paramount executives believe that the acquisition of BET by a consortium of wealthy Black individuals and institutions could unlock value for the media asset in ways that are more difficult under its current corporate ownership.

Perry’s acquisition of BET would also have implications for his own series, as several of his shows are currently aired on the channel. His deal with Paramount is set to expire soon, and it remains to be seen whether his interest in acquiring BET will come to fruition.

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