The internet has been ablaze with rumors that director Tyler Perry purchased BET Media Group from its parent company Paramount Global. But is there any validity to the social media gossip train?
If you asked Twitter, the consensus is clearly that the media mogul owns BET. Seriously, people even thanked Perry for making the BET Awards better this year.
BET’s parent company Paramount Global declined to comment for this story and has generally been staying out of the media fray. But—and we’re sorry to burst anyone’s bubble here—there’s no evidence that Perry has purchased the major network. (At least not yet.)
The battle for a majority stake in BET Media group has been widely reported. Last week, Forbes wrote about the race for ownership between Black media moguls and entrepreneurs, including Perry, Byron Allen, Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal, and Sean “Diddy” Combs, over the majority stake in the BET Media Group. So far, no one appears to have signed the dotted line.
Perry has appeared as a frontrunner in the race in part because of his long-standing ties to BET. For one thing, the billionaire already owns a minority stake in BET+. He’s also had a hand in much of their existing programming, such as Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Tyler Perry’s Sistas. However, Allen is also seen as a real contender. Like Perry, Allen, whose company Allen Media Group owns the Weather Channel and the Black News Channel, he’s an insider in the media and entertainment industry.
Regardless of whether any of the aforementioned names take over BET, it’s clear that there’s a lot of interest in the Black Entertainment Network becoming Black-owned.