Tyler Perry Wants to Buy BET TV Network: What This Means for Black Entertainment

I was a huge BET fan when I was a kid, and I remember spending hours in front of the TV, mesmerized by the music videos and eagerly waiting for my favorite shows to come on. Today, I don’t even know what channel it’s on, and I don’t know anyone watching the network. That’s not true. I actually used to record “The Have and Have Nots” and now “The Oval.” They are my guilty-pressure TV shows I don’t talk about that much.

Tyler Perry, an American actor, writer, producer, and director, recently indicated his interest in buying the BET TV network, a cable network which stands for Black Entertainment Television. The network is committed to airing content that explores African-American culture. The news of Perry’s potential acquisition has generated a lot of attention and speculative discussion inside the entertainment business, especially among those concerned about the future of black entertainment.

History of B.E.T

Robert L. Johnson, one of America’s most well-known black business leaders, launched BET in 1980. Johnson founded the network with a $15,000 loan from his mother and intended to develop a venue highlighting black talent and culture. BET immediately became popular with viewers all around the country since, at the time, there weren’t many possibilities for black voices on television.

Robert L. Johnson. (2023, March 7). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_L._Johnson

Viacom acquired BET for $3 billion in 2001, making it one of the most expensive media purchases ever made. While Viacom owned it, BET continued to create well-known programs and occasions, such as the BET Awards and the BET Hip Hop Awards. The network was criticized for deviating too far from its primary goal of uplifting and inspiring black people.

BET has experienced decreased viewership and competition from other networks and streaming services in recent years. Moreover, the company’s leadership has changed, as some well-known executives left in 2017 and 2018. These elements influenced Tyler Perry’s interest in acquiring the network.

Who is Tyler Perry?

Tyler Perry is one of the most prosperous and significant personalities in the entertainment business. He is renowned for developing and embodying the role of Madea, an elderly woman who is sassy and wisecracks and has become a cultural icon. The popular TV series “House of Payne” and “The Haves and the Have Nots,” among others, were both created and directed by Perry. Also, he is the proprietor of Tyler Perry Studios, a sizable film and television production complex in Atlanta.

Why does Tyler Perry want to buy BET?

Perry revealed in an interview with TheGrio that he is interested in BET to give black producers, black actors and innovators greater opportunity. He thinks that having a TV network devoted to black content would enable him to support initiatives that might not otherwise be given a chance. Additionally, he indicated a desire to use his platform to highlight many perspectives and narratives from the black community.

Tyler Perry
BET Networks. (2023, March 4). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BET_Networks

Why does Tyler Perry want to buy BET?

According to Perry, who spoke with TheGrio, his interest in BET is driven by a desire to provide black producers and innovators greater opportunity. He thinks having a TV network devoted to black content would allow him to approve ideas that might not be given a chance elsewhere. He further indicated a desire to use his platform to highlight various perspectives and narratives from the black community.

What would this mean for black entertainment?

The future of black entertainment might be significantly impacted
if Tyler Perry were to acquire BET. For one, there would be one less major media company not owned or operated by a person of color. This might result in more representation and diversity within the sector. Furthermore, Perry has a track record of producing popular series and movies that appeal to black viewers. He could utilize his power to expand the possibilities for black entertainment if he had control over the BET schedule.

What are the potential drawbacks?

Although Tyler Perry may have excellent intentions, there are worries about what can occur if one individual has excessive power over a TV network. There might be concerns about the kinds of stories and who gets to tell them if Perry were to take exclusive ownership of BET. Some critics are also concerned that Perry’s entertainment may be too formulaic or limited to reflect the diversity of experiences within the black community accurately.

What happens next?

There currently needs to be a firm strategy for Tyler Perry to acquire BET. It is merely a notion in which he has shown interest. But he must be even thinking about it. It demonstrates that the black entertainment sector is hungry for more ownership and control. Whether or when Perry buys BET, his drive and vision may encourage others to set similar objectives.


In conclusion, Tyler Perry’s intention to acquire the BET TV network is risky and may have significant repercussions for the black entertainment industry. While worries about the negative effects are undoubtedly evident, there is also reason to think that Perry’s ownership may increase diversity and representation in the business. Only time will tell if this proposal is implemented, but it is something to watch out for shortly.

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