Will Black Entertainment Television become Black-owned again?
Paramount Global plans to sell the majority stake in BET, and Tyler Perry and Byron Allen are interested in buying
Since the 80s, Black Entertainment Television (BET), has been the country’s primary means of Black entertainment in Black households for decades. Founded by Robert L. Johnson in 1980 as a television station that only aired part-time for just a few short hours a day.
Over the years BET grew and became more of a household name for Black families by creating television content, music videos, teen discussion panels, and new coverage such as: Video Soul, Teen Summit, Rap City, The Tavis Smiley Show, and more for every member of every household of every age to enjoy.
In 2000, now reaching 90 million households, Johnson sold his majority stake in BET for $3 Billion to Viacom, a publically traded company on the stock market; Viacom is also the owner of MTV, VH1, Paramount Pictures, and more. For the past 23 years since the sale of BET, it has been solely operated under the control of Viacom, which now operates under the name Paramount Global.
Today, Paramount Global has announced plans to sell the majority stake in BET (BET+ and VH1). The proceeds of the sale will help Paramount Global fund and operate its streaming services of Paramount+ and Pluto.
Initially, actor/filmmaker, Tyler Perry, has expressed interest in buying the majority stake of BET. Now businessman and Entertainment Studios founder, Byron Allen, has expressed interest in buying BET as well.
Will this possible sale of the majority stake of BET help the property become Black-owned again? The interest of Perry and Allen purchasing the majority stake just may help the possibility come true. At this time, there has not been any other reported possible interest from other parties to purchase the majority stake in BET.