Tyler Perry reportedly stands as the new owner of BET. According to an initial report by Streamr, the media mogul will take control of Black Entertainment Television and VH1, both once owned by Paramount.
However, the original report by Streamr has been removed from its site. Paramount, BET or Perry has yet to confirm or deny the report.
If the deal is finalized, it will come several years after Perry partnered with BET to launch BET+, a streaming service which features original TV and film projects produced by Perry.
Started by Bob Johnson in 1980, BET provided Black content in an era where minorities rarely got an opportunity to showcase work on network TV. In 2000, Johnson sold BET for $2.3 billion to Viacom. Viacom would eventually become Paramount.
Perry has worked with BET since 2017 and has several original programs on the streaming service BET+. If Perry is able to secure the deal, he would be able to add the cable station and streaming service to his media empire which also includes the 330-acre Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.
It would also clear the way for BET to receive advertising dollars geared to minority owned media companies. General Motors and Coca-Cola have committed to significantly increasing ad spends for companies in that sector.
According to Forbes, Perry is worth $1 billion.