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Tyler Perry, Bryon Allen, and Sean Combs Are In The Hunt To Purchase BET

Paramount Global has hinted at its desire to sell BET (Black Entertainment Television). And as it stands, there are a few prominent African-American businessmen in the hunt to take over what Robert Johnson co-founded back in 1980. It’s been reported that Tyler Perry, Sean Combs, and Bryon Allen all want in. But what’s the hold-up?

No offer has officially been made and right now, these are all rumors. Johnson took a $15k investment and turned that into a $1.5B payday when BET was sold to Viacomm in 2001. What angered most blacks about this deal was that BET was now in the hands of people who did not fully understand what black television meant. Gone were the days of Rap City and Teen Summit and we were introduced to a lower level of scripted and unscripted shows. 

If Paramount Global is serious about selling, then whoever gets their hands on the network will have a wide audience that spans BET, BET+, and BET Her. The reason for this sale is so Paramount can continue to build up its big brand which is the streaming service Paramount+. Think about the direction they’re trying to go into. 

Paramount+ is big in terms of movies and TV shows and now with distribution rights with The English Premier League (Soccer), their brand is ever-growing. But left out in the cold is the black channel. Cash is needed and Allen, Perry, or Combs can surely help with that.

When asked about the potential deal, Combs had this to say. “Media is the most powerful industry in the world but it’s the industry where we have the least amount of ownership, influence, and control!,” he wrote. “It’s time for BET to be Black-owned again so we have the power to tell our own stories, control our own narrative! This is not about me, it’s about WE!!!!

The rumor is that Perry would be the favorite if a deal is to be done since he and Paramount already have a working business relationship. It was Paramount Global that brought Perry into the BET fray back in 2019. But Perry must also take into account that his deal with BET and Paramount expires this year as well. Perry seems to be the perfect fit but there is no way they should count out Byron Allen either. 

In recent decades, Allen has managed to assemble an impressive portfolio of media holdings, including the Weather Channel, Local Now, and The Grio, as well as numerous local TV stations and various website holdings. He recently oversaw the purchase and rebranding of digital broadcast network Black News Channel as The Grio TV. Allen is the only potential suitor who would automatically give BET Group a major footprint in traditional broadcasting as well as cable and streaming.

As for Combs, he has his ear more to culture than any of the two, plus his Revolt Station has been a hit since it launched back in 2013. Combs is a wise choice if BET is to bring back what made the station so popular in the first place. As someone who started in Hip Hop, Combs understands the importance of shows like Rap City and what that meant to the black culture. 

If Paramount is to sell BET, then one of these 3 men or someone with ties to the culture has to take over and bring BET back to where it was.



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