Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for BET.
Paramount Halts Plans to Sell Majority Stake In BET
Although Diddy, Tyler Perry, 50 Cent, Kenya Barris and more reportedly expressed interest in bidding for the majority stake in BET Media, Paramount Global has ended the sale.
Diddy, 50 Cent, Kenya Barris and other media moguls are no longer in the running to purchase a majority stake of BET Media. Although false reports surfaced over the summer that Perry had acquired the multimedia company, on Wednesday (August 16), it was announced by the WSJ that Paramount Global pulled the sale. The company notified bidders that ending the sale process would not bring significant change to its balance sheet.
The bids for BET Media Group –which includes the BET Channel, BET+, VH1 and BET Studios – were said to range from $2 billion to roughly $3 billion. Paramount sought at least $3 billion for BET, which was acquired by Viacom in 2000 for $2 billion. A partial reason for the sale’s cancellation was due to Paramount having a loss of viewers across cable networks like Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Nickelodeon, as households instead purchased streaming services. With fewer people watching cable, the $3 billion estimate for BET was questionable to some.
During Paramount’s earnings call on August 7, CEO Bob Bakish was asked about the sale’s status, per THR, although he dodged specifics. “We’re always looking for ways to maximize shareholder value,” he replied. “And as we said before, that might involve divesting, acquiring or potentially partnering on assets, all of which we’ve done. But other than that, I’m not going to comment on anything specifically.”
In 2019, Perry partnered with BET for the BET+ streaming subscription service. Also connected to the bid was former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal, along with businessman, television producer and comedian Byron Allen.
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