After months of rumors and reports, it appears that Tyler Perry won’t be taking over BET. Neither will Diddy or Byron Allen as Paramount has decided it won’t be selling a majority stake in the network.
Paramount notified bidders on Wednesday that it decided to end the sale process as a sale would not result in any meaningful deleveraging of its balance sheet, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday night. Several bids ranged from $2 to $3 billion, according to the report.
News broke in March that the company was interested in selling the majority stake in BET, created in 1980 by Bob Johnson. Several notable names were tossed around as potential buyers at the time. Perry emerged as a favorite in the media, and multiple outlets reported he had the winning bid. Clearly, that was not the case.
“We’re always looking for ways to maximize shareholder value,” Paramount CEO Bob Bakish said earlier this month. “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.”
Discussion of the sale had many people wondering what it could mean for HBCU football. The sport was a staple of the early days of BET through the early 2000s. Both Diddy and Byron Allen have ties to HBCUs. Diddy is a Howard University alumnus while Allen is the owner of HBCU Go, a network that began airing HBCU football games in 2022.
For now, though, none of these three will be buying the biggest media conglomerate aimed at black audiences.