Paramount in Talks To Sell Stake in BET, VH1 to Tyler Perry: Reports

Tyler Perry accepts the Humanitarian Award during the 2021 Oscars
Tyler Perry at the Oscars in 2021 (Image credit: AMPAS/ABC)

Paramount Global is in talks to sell a majority stake in its BET business to producer Tyler Perry, according to published reports.

Paramount’s BET Media Group includes BET, VH1 and the BET Plus streaming service. It also includes BET Studios, which is partly owned by Kenya Barris and Rashida Jones. 

Perry has a programming deal with BET, which  airs series including The Oval and Sistas. He also is a partner in BET Plus. Perry’s deal is close to expiring, according to The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab).

Paramount would retain a minority stake in BET, the reports said. It would also maintain a commercial relationship with the programmer. 

Paramount had no comment. The company has been selling off non-core assets to raise cash and compete as the TV business pivots to streaming, according to The Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab).

BET is one of the leaders among networks serving the African-American audience. At a time when advertisers are looking to spend more money with Black-owned businesses, BET currently does not qualify. 

In 2000, Viacom (now part of Paramount) acquired the then-Black Entertainment Television for $3 billion in stock and cash. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.