Tyler Perry’s entertainment empire will not include Black Entertainment Television after all, as Paramount Global has decided to retain the majority stake in the network.
On Thursday, the New York Post reported that the media tycoon’s bid was rejected after the parent company of the African-American-centered channel initially agreed to his $2 billion offer. Previous reports indicate that Perry’s bid was $1 billion lower than what Paramount demanded in the opening bid.
Paramount Global, which also owns VH1, Nickelodeon, and MTV notified bidders that the auction which began earlier this summer was being canceled.
Paramount turned down Tyler Perry’s 2 billion dollar offer to buy BET pic.twitter.com/evaY86Ov1j— No Jumper (@nojumper) August 17, 2023
A source for The Post said the company “made this decision because the benefits of maintaining a majority stake in BET Media Group creates more value for Paramount than any of the proposals we received.”
The source also reiterated the company’s claim of hoping to “return the asset to Black ownership” with a “good partner and responsible steward of the assets and the mission” before deciding to shelve plans to sell for financial reasons.
Byron Allen, whose Entertainment Studios owns The Weather Channel and a handful of television network affiliate stations, either met or came close to the $3 billion price tag but was declined due to a “lack in committed financing.”
Despite the low bid from Perry, his working relationship with the network and 25% stake in the related streaming service BET+, the publicly traded conglomerate favored him as a successor and tried to persuade him to increase the offer, which also included VH1.
Earlier in the month, Paramount sold book publisher Simon & Schuster to the private equity firm KKR for $1.62 billion in cash. That money is expected to pay down debts after losing a reported $424 million dollars in the second quarter alone. Most of those losses are tied to the streaming service Paramount+, which also lost $575 million by the end of 2022.
No update has been given on the shows currently in queue for BET, including Mary J. Blige’s talk show “The Run Down,” which premiered in March.