Tyler Perry is reportedly interested in acquiring a controlling interest in BET Media Group as Paramount Global intends to sell its controlling interest in the media entity.
The Wall Street Journal first reported Monday that Paramount was interested in selling its stake in BET Media – which owns cable channels BET, VH, and streaming service BET+.
The magazine later reported that Perry — a billionaire writer, actor and producer who currently owns a minority stake in BET+ — is in talks to acquire a controlling stake in BET Media, which caters primarily to a black audience.
According to the magazine, BET Media’s minority investor structure makes it difficult to integrate with Paramount+. In addition to Perry, BET Studios shareholders include writer/producer Kenya Barris and actress/producer Rashida Jones.
Perry has had longstanding relationships with BET and Paramount, including an agreement to create shows for Paramount through the studio of the same name. The magazine reported that BET and Paramount would continue their working relationship if Perry acquired a controlling stake.
Perry is apparently not the only one interested in acquiring BET: Byron Allen, owner of The Weather Channel, among other media holdings, is also targeting a deal, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In January, Paramount Global announced Paramount+ and Showtime would be merging later this year, and in February CEO Bob Bakish said Paramount+ would increase its subscription prices later this year.
Paramount shares are up more than 30% year-to-date, despite falling 34% over the trailing 12 months, compared to the S&P 500’s 5.4% rise in 2023 and a 3.6% decline in 2023 last year.