Sean “Diddy” Combs has entered the bidding war to buy BET, joining Tyler Perry and Byron Allen, who’ve already expressed interest in buying the majority stake of BET Media Group—which includes BET, BET+, VH1, and BET Studios—from Paramount Global.
Variety reported that the Bad Boy mogul is “exploring the opportunity to purchase BET as a part of his strategy to build a Black-owned global media powerhouse.” He currently owns REVOLT under his recently rebranded Combs Global. The multimedia subsidiary produces linear and digital long-form and multi-platform short-form programming including Drink Champs, Kingdom Culture With T.D. Jakes, and Caresha Please.
A source close to Combs also explained the importance of this acquisition to Variety, saying the 53-year-old believes BET returning to being a Black-owned brand is “better for the business, for the culture and for building wealth in the Black community.” Upon purchasing, he also claims to “enlist a collective of high-powered Black businesspeople and entertainers to further build it up.”
Paramount Global, formerly Viacom, bought BET in October 2000 for $2.34 billion, making its founder Robert L. Johnson, the first Black billionaire in the United States. The company’s chief executive, Bob Bakish, told the New York Times on Friday (March 10) the company will not publicly discuss “sensitive dealmaking details,” but “is exploring a sale of ownership in BET and VH1 during a renewed push to support Black-owned and controlled media companies.”
Despite Combs, Allen, and Perry all expressing interest—and the latter owning minority stake in BET—it was confirmed that Paramount is not officially in talks with anyone yet about purchasing their stake.
The Times additionally reported that Group Black, a Black-owned, Miami-based media company, also expressed interest. Founded in 2021 by Travis Montaque, Richelieu Dennis, and Bonin Bough, Group Black recently put in a $400 million bid for Vice Media and would be partnering with CVC Capital Partners, a private-equity firm based in Luxembourg, as well as influential Black artists and businesspeople for the potential BET deal.