The Future. Paramount Global, which is in the midst of shedding several of its legacy cable brands as it transitions to streaming, is reportedly readying a sale of BET Media Group… and every major Black entertainer is circling. Whoever prevails could have the opportunity to not just remake BET and VH1 but create a new narrative around the channels as the go-to destinations for modern Black entertainment.
Black entertainment, Black-owned
Twenty-two years after founder Robert L. Johnson sold BET to Viacom, BET is on the cusp of, once again, being Black-owned.
- Tyler Perry, who has countless shows with the company and already owns 25% of BET+, is set to make a bid (potentially with Ariel Investments).
- Media investment firm Group Black has corralled the likes of Kenya Barris, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, and Shaquille O’Neal to make an offer.
- Sean “Diddy” Combs is reportedly mulling a bid and combining the company with his music-centric cable and digital brand, Revolt Media.
- And last but not least, mega-producer and entrepreneur Byron Allen will likely submit an offer.
BET Media Group, which includes both BET and VH1, will likely go on the market for about $3 billion. Although the network has been shedding subscribers and revenue year after year like every cable outlet, it’s possible one of these new owners could turn things around.
As Allen gracefully notes, “I’m rooting for Black ownership when it comes to BET and VH1. That’s nothing but a win-win whoever gets it.”