Paramount Global Backs Off From Sale of BET Media Group Majority Stake

The Company began exploring the possibility in March

Paramount Global and BET Networks logos

BET Media Group is staying put, as Paramount Global has decided against selling its majority stake in the company.

Paramount Global began exploring the sale in March as part of an effort to generate cash to strengthen its flagship Paramount+ streaming service. But on Wednesday, according to Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, the company informed bidders the sale won’t happen as it won’t generate a significant enough amount of money.

Representatives for Paramount Global didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.

Interested buyers included Tyler Perry and Byron Allen, both of whom expressed immediate interest in March and were in talks to acquire BET Media. NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal also joined the fray in partnership Group Black, rapper and producer 50 Cent and “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris.

Barris and Perry are already in the BET Media business — in addition to BET linear channels and VH1, BET Media Group oversees BET+, a joint venture with Perry, and BET Studios, a joint venture with Barris and Rashida Jones.

Earlier this month, Paramount Global disclosed a net loss from continuing operations of $299 million, or a diluted loss of 59 cents per share, on revenue of $7.6 billion for the second financial quarter of 2023.

However, the company’s direct-to-consumer division — which includes Paramount+ — increased revenue by 40% compared to the same period in 2023, with $1.7 billion driven in part by a 700,000 increase in Paramount+ subscribers.

BET was launched in 1980 by founder Robert Johnson as a channel specifically aimed at African American audiences. Paramount acquired BET in 2000 for $2.3 billion.