The competition to purchase BET has another contender.
The New York Times has reported Group Black, led by Travis Montaque and co-founded by Richelieu Dennis has thrown their hats in a race to buy the network after Tyler Perry, Diddy and Byron Allen have laid plans to do the same.
The New York Times reports that Group Black is working with CVC Capital Partners, a private-equity firm based in Luxembourg with more than $100 billion under management to make a bid.
The outlet also highlighted that although several people close to the situation have said the businesspeople are deeply interested, talks are still early and the current owner, Paramount, may ultimately decide not to sell ownership of BET or VH1. They haven’t offered a comment about any of these reports to date.
This push is coming after widespread talks have taken place over the years about the lack of Black ownership in media. According to a 2020 report by The Leadership Conference On Civic & Human Rights, African Americans control 0.9 percent of television stations but represent 13.9 percent of the population.
“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,” said Lauren Williams, who started Capital B, a news nonprofit controlled by Black journalists, in January 2022 in an interview with NY Times.
Black media ownership has sharply fallen off a cliff over the past few decades since the BET’s founding and 2000 sell to Viacom, prompting a movement amongst high-profile Black business leaders to stake a significant claim in the space.
“Black ownership is important in commercial enterprises,” she said, “because Black people should be profiting from Black products.”