Tyler Perry is looking to buy a majority stake in BET Media Group from parent company Paramount Global and has been involved in discussions regarding a possible sale, Variety reports.
The actor and entrepreneur currently has a minority stake in the Paramount-owned business, which includes BET, VH1, BET Studios, and BET+. Paramount Global has been exploring a sale of the Scott Mills-run operation, and Perry appears to be one of the leading names in talks to buy the majority stake in the company. BET Studios, which launched in 2021, is among the newest of the BET divisions and also counts Kenya Barris, Rashida Jones, and Aaron Rahsaan among its minority stake holders.
Perry already has a working relationship with BET CEO Mills, and Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish. He also produces a number of projects for BET and BET+, including House of Payne, Sisters, The Oval, Ruthless, Zatima, and Assisted Living. As reported by Deadline, a person close to the situation said that Paramount would maintain a minority stake and keep various commercial agreements in place if the deal goes ahead.
The news comes amid a big restructuring of Paramount, which is seeking to focus its resources on its streaming Paramount+ and the advertisement-supported Pluto TV. Earlier this year the company announced plans to rebrand Showtime’s streaming platform by folding it into Paramount+. The company also sought to sell its book publishing arm Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House, but the deal fell through due to regulatory concerns. Paramount is still seeking to sell S&S in the future.