Paramount Global has reversed its decision to sell a majority stake in its BET Media Group.
The company had started a bidding war after announcing months back that it would be selling the media group, which includes VH1 and BET Studios, streamer BET+ and the BET channel.
AP News reports that a person “familiar with the decision,” said the company “determined maintaining a heavy stake in BET creates more value for Paramount than any of the proposals after consulting with financial advisers.”
Several high-profile potential buyers stepped forward in March, including Sean “Diddy” Combs.
“Media is the most powerful industry in the world, but it’s the industry where we have the least ownership, influence, and control,” he tweeted. “It’s time for BET to be Black-owned again, so we have the power to tell our own stories and control our own narrative,” he continued. “This is not about me, it’s about we! I’m building a team of leaders in the culture to pursue ownership in BET together! We have to unify our power and resources to create real change! #THETIMEISNOW.”
Robert L. Johnson founded the network in 1980. Johnson became the first African-American billionaire in 2001, thanks to the sale of the cable station. Johnson and his partners sold BET Holdings to Viacom media group in 2001 for $3 billion. He remained at BET as its chief executive officer until 2005.
Tyler Perry also expressed interest in a bid, as did Weather Channel owner Byron Allen. Perry is already a partner in BET+, along with Kenya Barris, Rashida Jones, and Aaron Rahsaan being amongst its minority stakeholders for BET Studios, which launched in 2021. BET helped Perry to fund his first feature, 2005’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman.”
Paramount Global had garnered bids varying from approximately $2 billion to $3 billion.