BET Media Group, the brand currently owned by Paramount Global and which includes not just the BET cable channel and online streaming platform BET+ but also VH1 as well, is reportedly being put up for sale by the conglomerate. And one of the groups said to be preparing a bid includes Shaquille O’Neal, Kenya Barris, and 50 Cent, per a recent report in The Wall Street Journal.
The trio has teamed with investment entities Group Black, CVC Capital Partners, and Authentic Brands Group, in putting in a bid for the brand, which is due sometime later in May.
It’s not known how much the BET Media Group brand is worth or what the proposed bids might be, but Shaq, Barris, and 50 are not the only celebrities reported to be interested in putting in a bid. Tyler Perry is also interested, having reportedly partnered with Ariel Alternatives to put their own bid into the running, as has Sean “Diddy” Combs through his company Revolt and HarbourView Equity Partners.
The sale comes as Paramount looks to shed some excess weight and focus on its own Paramount+ streaming platform. The company’s most recent quarterly report showed a $1.1 billion loss, including $511 million in losses posted from its streaming business, which for now includes BET+.
Perry’s interest in possibly purchasing BET has already been reported and comes as he already has a strong relationship with the brand, owning a piece of BET+ and having produced various projects for the channel and streaming platform. Kenya Barris, part of the newly reported group said to be interested, also reportedly has a relationship with BET, as a minority shareholder the brand’s production wing BET Studios.
BET was founded in 1980 by Robert Johnson, and in 2000 it was acquired by Paramount for the price of $2.3 billion in stock.