By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent@StacyBrownMedia
Paramount Global has pulled out of a deal to sell BET Media Group to renowned filmmaker Tyler Perry.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Paramount announced that they had ended the bidding process, which would have included VH1 and BET Studios, streamer BET+ and the BET channel —because “a sale wouldn’t result in any meaningful deleveraging of its balance sheet.”
Paramount Global had received bids ranging from approximately $2 billion to $3 billion.
Perry’s potential ownership would have made BET Black-owned again after 21 years, while VH1, for the first time, would have boasted an African American owner for the first time.
Earlier this year, Perry’s longtime friend, Rolanda Watts, proclaimed that he cemented his place in history by acquiring the two major television networks, making him the first African American to do so.
However others, including Roland Martin, said the story wasn’t true, that a deal had not been reached.
The renowned actor and filmmaker previously expressed optimism about purchasing BET, stating his keen interest if it were a possibility.
Perry, who had already enjoyed tremendous success in collaboration with BET, partnering with his Tyler Perry Studios banner to create the popular streaming service BET+, was no stranger to the network.
He acknowledged the unexpected nature of the potential acquisition, stating, “I’ve been there for four years now and had tremendous success… If that is possible, I’m very, very interested in taking as much of it as I can.”
The exact financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, but experts on this sort of transaction have placed a significant value on the acquisition of the two networks.
Since its launch, the BET+ streaming service has experienced remarkable success.
In 2021 alone, BET+ was responsible for half of the subscribers and nearly all revenue growth for the channel.
The platform features a wide range of original films and series from the extensive BET program library, captivating audiences with diverse and engaging content.
The acquisition of BET and VH1 would have marked a significant milestone in the representation and ownership of the entertainment industry.
Perry’s success as an African American entrepreneur and his commitment to showcasing diverse stories and voices have paved the way for increased opportunities and inclusivity in the media landscape.
The Madea star currently owns a minority stake in BET and also produces a large portion of the programming available on BET and BET+