Sean “Diddy” Combs joins the growing list of those rumored to be interested in acquiring a majority stake in Paramount’s BET businesses.
Among the growing list of potential buyers for Paramount’s BET businesses — which include BET, VH1, BET Studios, and streaming service BET+ — Sean “Diddy” Combs is tossing his hat into the ring, a source familiar with the matter tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Other interested parties include current BET producer and minority stake owner Tyler Perry and Weather Channel owner Byron Allen. Scott Mills serves as BET’s CEO.
Combs has worked with Paramount properties before, having worked on Making the Band and other content for its channels in the past. He already enjoys a presence on cable TV through his Revolt network, but BET and VH1 are far more widely-distributed.
Still, as a current BET partner and shareholder through his current deal with Paramount, Tyler Perry might be the most likely candidate for the buyout, especially as his contract will soon be up for renewal. Perry’s agreement with Paramount began in 2017. With his deal nearing its renegotiation, purchasing BET would give him ownership of the network that already airs many of his shows and content.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Byron Allen has said that the network mogul is “interested in buying BET, and he will be pursuing the acquisition of the network.” Allen controls several local TV stations in addition to The Weather Channel and other assets through his Entertainment Studios firm. A BET acquisition for Allen would mean an expansion of his already widely-distributed cable business, as well as another streaming service.
Sources close to Paramount have said that if a deal closes, Paramount expects to maintain a business relationship with the buyer and a minority stake in the BET businesses. Such a deal would provide Paramount with the cash to continue building out its Paramount+ streaming service, its primary focus.