When Paramount opened discussions over the sale of a majority stake in Black Entertainment Television (BET), a number of black celebrities, including Tyler Perry expressed interest in owning a piece of the network.
The station has been home to some of his shows like “Sistas,” “The Oval,” and “House of Payne” among others. If he had acquired BET, it would give him control over the brand that airs his shows.
According to Perry, his desire to purchase the station is for it to return to black ownership. He said to ET in April, “I think there was sadness when Bob sold it, and I think there’ll be happiness when it’s Black-owned again. Even though Shari (Redstone) and what is it? Viacom and Paramount? They’ve done a phenomenal job with it.”
“They didn’t let it fall by the wayside; they didn’t let it go into dust. They nurtured it and took care of it, and to see Shari at this position saying, ‘I think it should be returned to a Black owner?’ I figured, ‘OK, see, that’s my kind of person.’”
Despite receiving bids from $2 billion to $3 billion, Paramount later said it was no longer interested in the sale of a majority stake in BET Media Group, which consists of the BET channel, BET+, VH1, and BET Studios.
During a Bloomberg summit held at The Gathering Spot in Atlanta recently, Perry expressed his disappointment about how the bidding process went.
“I was disappointed about it for a number of reasons,” the business mogul expressed, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The way it happened was disrespectful in a lot of ways.” Without going into too much detail, he added, “Don’t try to get me to pay for something that’s not worth anywhere near the value.”
When he was asked if he would be interested in purchasing BET if Paramount put it up for sale again, he answered in the negative.
Despite his negative feelings towards the botched deal, Perry remains a minority owner in BET+ and continues to have a working relationship with the network. “God bless them. I’m still working with them. I wish them the best,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted him as saying.