Not long ago, people on social media were convinced that the deal had been finalized to make Black entertainment mogul Tyler Perry the majority shareholder at Black Entertainment Television. Black folks in particular were celebrating the prospect of making BET Black-owned again. Well, unfortunately, that dream appears to be dead in the water because not only has no deal been finalized for Perry, Diddy, Byron Allen or any other Black mogul rumored to be in a bidding war to purchase BET, but none of them put up enough money to satisfy Paramount executives in the first place.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Paramount Global, the company that owns VH1 and BET Studios, BET+ and the BET channel, which were all included in the deal, announced Wednesday that it’s ending the bidding process because “a sale wouldn’t result in any meaningful deleveraging of its balance sheet.”
Oh well, it was a nice thought for the culture anyway.
But while Perry, Diddy and Allen are no longer in line to be the next owner of BET, they all seem to be moving toward creating a media world for Black news and Black creatives, which includes working heavily with BET and the larger network.
Combs has previously worked with Paramount Global, producing three iterations of MTV’s “Making the Band” between 2002 and 2009. The rapper, record producer and executive is already the owner of network Revolt, which reaches roughly 80 millions households. Back in March, a source close to Combs told Variety that Combs is “exploring the opportunity to purchase BET as a part of his strategy to build a Black-owned global media powerhouse,” which he believes is “better for the business, for the culture and for building wealth in the Black community.”
Perry currently owns a minority stake in BET and also produces a large portion of the programming available on BET and BET+, the latter of which he helped launch in 2019. Meanwhile, Allen purchased the Black News Channel for $11 million, and his production company Allen Media Group invested over $1 billion in the last three years to acquire 27 NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox affiliates.
So, at the very least, Black moguls are working consistently at expanding Black platforms in mainstream media. So, there’s that!
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