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Tyler Perry Makes History as First African-American to Acquire Two Major TV Networks

Tyler Perry makes history by acquiring BET and VH1, becoming the first African-American to own two major TV networks.



By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

In a major development for the entertainment industry, BET has become Black-owned once again after 21 years, while VH1, for the first time, now boasts an African-American owner.

According to his longtime friend and television personality Rolanda Watts, Tyler Perry has cemented his place in history by acquiring the two major television networks, making him the first African-American to do so.

The acquisition follows the news that Paramount Global has sought to sell a majority stake in BET.

Earlier this year, the renowned actor and filmmaker expressed optimism about purchasing BET, stating his keen interest if it were a possibility.

Perry, who had already enjoyed tremendous success in collaboration with BET, partnering with his Tyler Perry Studios banner to create the popular streaming service BET+, was no stranger to the network.

He acknowledged the unexpected nature of the acquisition, stating, “I’ve been there for four years now and had tremendous success … If that is possible, I’m very, very interested in taking as much of it as I can.”

The exact financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, but experts on this sort of transaction have placed a significant value on the acquisition of the two networks.

With the purchase, Perry assumes control over BET Media Group, which includes other networks such as VH1.

Since its launch, the BET+ streaming service has experienced remarkable success.

In 2021 alone, BET+ was responsible for half of the subscribers and nearly all revenue growth for the channel.

The platform features a wide range of original films and series from the extensive BET program library, captivating audiences with diverse and engaging content.

The acquisition of BET and VH1 marks a significant milestone in the representation and ownership of the entertainment industry.

Perry’s success as an African-American entrepreneur and his commitment to showcasing diverse stories and voices have paved the way for increased opportunities and inclusivity in the media landscape.

As the new owner of these influential networks, Perry is poised to leave an indelible mark on the future of Black-owned media and further amplify underrepresented narratives on a global scale.

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