Sean “Diddy” Combs is coming into the race to purchase BET, becoming a member of fellow media moguls Tyler Perry and Byron Allen as they vie to buy a majority stake of BET Media Group amid stories that proprietor Paramount International is exploring a sale of the asset, Selection has confirmed.
Run by CEO Scott Mills, BET Media Group contains BET, BET+, VH1 (which was moved below the group in a restructuring at Paramount final November) and BET’s manufacturing arm, BET Studios.
A supply near Combs tells Selection that the worldwide music icon and document government turned multi-industry entrepreneur is “exploring the chance to buy BET as part of his technique to construct a Black-owned world media powerhouse.”
One other supply accustomed to the state of affairs tells Selection, that whereas Combs has expressed curiosity in buying BET, he’s not but thought of to be in talks with Paramount to buy a majority stake. In truth, that insider says that Paramount shouldn’t be but in talks with anybody at this level within the course of, however that many events have expressed curiosity.
Paramount International declined Selection‘s request for remark.
After all, Combs is already the proprietor of Revolt, which he launched in 2013. Over the previous decade, the community rooted in hip-hop tradition has developed right into a multimedia firm that produces linear and digital long-form sequence and multi-platform short-form programming. At its inception, Revolt reached roughly 25 million households; right this moment, that quantity is roughly 80 million, with its digital attain exponentially better.
Below the management of CEO Detavio Samuels, who joined the corporate in 2020, Revolt has expanded their slate — rising their authentic sequence choices from 26 to 42 in two years, with weekly packages like “Revolt Black Information,” “Drink Champs” and “Kingdom Tradition With T.D. Jakes” producing about 40 episodes a 12 months, plus the sequence “Caresha Please.” In 2022, Revolt, which is headquartered in Atlanta, additionally launched a podcast community with a roster of greater than 30 sequence, in addition to Revolt Mixtape, a brand new FAST channel for library packages and exclusives.
Combs additionally has a longstanding relationship with Paramount International, courting again to his days with MTV, the place he produced three iterations of “Making the Band” between 2002 and 2009, which have been a serious success for the community.
Buying BET would give Combs the chance to deliver the 2 networks collectively in a singular means, broadening BET’s viewers attain with Revolt’s youthful and extra various viewers, plus participating the corporate’s power in digital, with a reported 12 million digital guests month-to-month, plus 18 million social followers.
Most necessary to Combs although, a supply tells Selection, is that BET return to being a Black-owned model, which he believes is “higher for the enterprise, for the tradition and for constructing wealth within the Black neighborhood.” Buying the community presents a chance for the Black neighborhood to return collectively to personal an necessary platform and Combs would enlist a collective of high-powered Black businesspeople and entertainers to additional construct it up.
In keeping with The Wall Road Journal, which first reported Paramount International is keen on promoting off BET in an article printed final Monday, “The choice to contemplate promoting a majority stake of the property, which cater primarily to Black audiences, is a part of the leisure large’s effort to shore up sources to bolster its flagship Paramount+ streaming service and its advertiser-supported free streaming platform Pluto TV, a number of the folks mentioned.”
Final week, Selection confirmed that Perry has had early discussions about buying the community, whereas a spokesperson for Allen said that the Allen Media Group founder can also be “keen on shopping for BET, and he will probably be pursuing the acquisition of the community.” The New York Times reported Friday that Group Black, a Black-owned, Miami-based media firm, has additionally expressed curiosity. The corporate, based in 2021 by Travis Montaque, Richelieu Dennis and Bonin Bough, not too long ago put in a bid of $400 million for Vice Media and can be teaming up with CVC Capital Companions, a private-equity agency primarily based in Luxembourg, in addition to outstanding Black artists and enterprise folks for the potential BET deal.
Perry at present owns a minority stake in BET and in addition produces a big portion of the programming out there on BET and streamer BET+, which he helped launch in 2019.
Allen acquired the Black Information Channel for $11 million, which joins The Climate Channel together with digital retailers akin to Native Now, HBCU GO and TheGrio. Allen Media Group has additionally invested over $1 billion within the final 3 years to amass 27 ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox associates.