Sean “Diddy” Combs is the latest name who could be throwing his hat in the ring to purchase BET.
According to Variety, Combs is now competing against media moguls including Tyler Perry and Byron Allen to purchase a majority stake of BET Media Group as Paramount looks to sell its majority stake. BET Media Group includes BET, BET+, VH1 and BET Studios.
Sources who spoke with Variety said Combs is “exploring the opportunity to purchase BET as a part of his strategy to build a Black-owned global media powerhouse.”
Another source, however, told Variety that Combs has interest in acquiring BET, but he’s not considered to be in talks with Paramount to purchase a majority stake at this time. The insider added that Paramount is not yet in talks with anyone, but several people have shown interest.
Combs launched his own network, Revolt, in 2013, building the business into a multimedia platform which revolves around hip hop culture. A source speaking to Variety said Combs now wants to see BET return to being a Black-owned brand.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Paramount may be looking to sell its stake of BET in an effort to raise more money for Paramount+ and Pluto TV. Paramount will own a minority stake in the BET business and still have a commercial relationship if it goes through with the sale.
Variety has also confirmed that Perry has had discussions about acquiring the network. The film mogul, who already has a partnership with Paramount and BET through his role in launching BET, would have entire majority ownership of the BET brand if he moves forward with the purchase. BET+ currently airs many of Perry’s streaming shows.
Tyler Perry Studios, which partnered with BET Networks in 2019 to launch BET+, has released shows such as Sistas, Bruh and The Oval on the networks.
As Shadow And Act previously reported, advertisers who are looking to cater more toward Black audiences could also be inclined to support Perry’s purchase of the network.