BET received’t be bought in any case: Paramount International determined towards promoting the bulk stake of the community.
Paramount notified bidders late Wednesday evening about its choice to conclude the BET Media Group sale course of, mentioned an individual conversant in the choice who was not approved to talk publicly. The particular person mentioned the corporate decided sustaining a heavy stake in BET creates extra worth for Paramount than any of the proposals after consulting with monetary advisers.
Some in style suitors included actor-director Tyler Perry, music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs and businessman Byron Allen. At one level, some thought-about Perry as a number one contender primarily based on the 2 profitable collection, “The Oval” and “Sistas,” airing on the community. He additionally owns a minority stake of the BET+ streaming service.
Together with BET, the deal would have included the cable channel VH1.
BET was initially began by Robert and then-wife Sheila Johnson in 1980. Robert Johnson created BET from the basement of his Washington, D.C., residence after securing a $500,000 mortgage from longtime cable government John Malone and ultimately constructed the model into the main TV community for Black People.
Johnson expanded BET by creating smaller digital networks geared to followers of jazz, gospel and hip-hop together with being a publishing home and occasion manufacturing agency. The community was initially led by in style reveals like “Bobby Jones Gospel,” “Rap Metropolis,” “ComicView,” “Elevate Each Voice” and “Teen Summit.”
Within the early Nineties, the community turned the primary Black-controlled tv firm to be listed on the New York Inventory Change.
BET has seen a decline in subscribers and income over the previous decade. Subscribers fell to an estimated 66.3 million in 2022 from 89.5 million in 2014, a peak yr for cable tv, in keeping with S&P International. S&P mentioned the cable community’s annual income have fallen from an estimated peak of $319 million in 2013 to $188 million in 2022.
The jewel of the BET Media Group acquisition might have been BET+, which launched in 2019. BET says the streaming service has greater than 3 million subscribers.
BET beefed up its content material after Johnson and his then-wife, Sheila, bought BET to Viacom in 2000 for $3 billion – which made them the nation’s first Black billionaires. He remained the CEO till 2006.
“106 & Park” turned a flagship program for BET creating alternatives for unknown personalities into family names together with A.J. Calloway, Marie “Free” Wright, Terrence J and Rocsi Diaz. The weekday present — which began in 2000 and lasted greater than a decade — thrived with a video countdown, interviews and performances. A yr later, the community began the BET Awards to rejoice the contributions that individuals of coloration have made via leisure and sports activities realm.
For years, BET was a platform that highlighted constructive photographs of Black folks. However within the mid-2000s, the community’s programming drew heavy criticism from a number of in style figures — filmmaker Spike Lee to Public Enemy’s Chuck D amongst them — who accused BET of depicting African People in a damaging mild.
Many took intention on the now-defunct “BET: Uncut,” a late-night mature program that contained extremely sexual content material.
Huge Boi of OutKast was overtly shocked by a number of the content material on “Uncut” calling it “distasteful” and “gentle porn.” Different political figures and activists protested confirmed their displeasure together with then-co-founder Sheila Johnson who mentioned she had grow to be ashamed of the community in a 2010 interview, suggesting that nobody watch together with her personal youngsters.
“Uncut” was canceled in 2006.
On account of the criticism, BET took a brand new method. The corporate researched what their viewers needed to see and created a lineup of extra family-oriented reveals equivalent to “Reed Between the Traces” and “Let’s Keep Collectively.” It additionally introduced again “The Recreation,” which set rankings data for the community, after followers petitioned for the present to return to tv following its cancellation on CW.
A few of its top-rated reveals now are “Sistas,” “All of the Queen’s Males,” “First Wives Membership” and “Tyler Perry’s The Oval.” Different reveals on the community embody “American Soul,” “Tales” and “Boomerang.”
The community additionally airs the BET Awards, BET Hip-Hop Awards and the NAACP Picture Awards.