Paramount Global will no longer be selling its stake in BET Media Group. The media company announced on Wednesday that it would be ending the bidding process for the stake, having determined that “a sale wouldn’t result in any meaningful deleveraging of its balance sheet,” The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Paramount had bought a majority stake in BET – which encompasses the namesake cable channel, streamer BET+, VH1 and BET Studios – for $2.3 billion USD in 2000.
In more recent years, BET’s viewership has gradually fallen. Paramount, meanwhile, has been grappling with financial losses accrued by its own streaming service, Paramount+.
The company had been planning to retain a minority stake in order to reap the benefits of potential future prosperity. Bids for the stake, however, ranged from around $2 billion USD to $3 billion USD, falling short of Paramount’s expectations. Among the bidders for the stake were Tyler Perry and Byron Allen, as well as Sean “Diddy” Combs.
BET was launched in 1983 as a programming channel for Black Americans. While an early iteration of the media network aired on news segments, it later pivoted to focus largely on music coverage.
In other entertainment news, Netflix shared a first look at the animated spin-off of Scott Pilgrim.