Another Black Business Jumps on the Bandwagon to Buy BET

Another Black Business Jumps on the Bandwagon to Buy BET

The battle is on for ownership of BET.

News broke last week that media moguls Tyler Perry and Byron Allen have their hats in the ring to buy Black Entertainment Television, which would have Black ownership after a lengthy hiatus. But new names have also set their eyes on ownership.

According to the New York Times, Group Black is in talks to purchase the network. The Miami-based media company is working with CVC Capital Partners, a private-equity firm based in Luxembourg, with more than $100 billion under management. To become the frontrunner in the bid, CEO Travis Montaque, is reaching out to elite Black businesspeople and artists to team up.

Its bid is not known, however, with contracts that size, there is no surprise that the company recently put in a $400 million bid to purchase VICE Media, according to the Wall Street Journal.

This exploration of ownership of BET can be looked at as a refreshed initiative to support Black-owned and controlled media companies. Thanks to streaming services, BET and networks alike have been losing traditional TV viewership over the years, with BET’s average daily audience decreasing about 20% over 20 years. Its annual profit fell to $205 million last year from $319 million in 2013, not including streaming service, BET+, or the network’s studio business.

Group Black, along with Perry and Allen, are hoping to get things back on track as there is a need for independence and connecting to the Black audience.

Lauren Williams, who started a Black journalist-controlled nonprofit, Capital B., said companies are tired of answering to white people.

“There’s real interest in having the independence to do the things that you want to do for your community and not having to answer to white people to do that,” Williams said.

“Black ownership is important in commercial enterprises because Black people should be profiting from Black products.”

All three parties are still in early talks. Paramount could back out and decide not to sell BET.