Sean “Diddy” Combs says he’s putting together a plan to buy BET Networks.
Diddy shared the news in response to reports earlier this week saying he’s interested in acquiring the properties, after Paramount Global began shopping BET Media Group — made up of BET, BET+, BET Her, BET Digital, BET Studios (the production arm of BET), and VH1.
Diddy posted a statement on Instagram Wednesday saying it’s time for Black Entertainment Television to once again be “Black-owned.”
Related Story: Paramount Global Looks to Sell Majority Stake in BET
The Bad Boy Records founder included a clip from the “Earn Your Leisure” podcast with hosts Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings. One of the hosts said he contacted Diddy to find out if there was any validity to articles saying he wants to add BET to his portfolio.
Diddy included a caption with the video explaining why he’d like to buy BET.
“Media is the most powerful industry in the world but it’s the industry where we have the least amount of ownership, influence and control!” he wrote. “It’s time for @BET to be Black-owned again so we have the power to tell our own stories, control our own narrative! This is not about me it’s about WE!!!!”
The music producer and businessman added that he hopes to partner with other Black entrepreneurs to pursue ownership of the company.
“I’m building a team of leaders in the culture to pursue ownership in @BET together!” he continued. “We have to unify our power and resources to create real change! #THETIMEISNOW.”
Diddy already owns music-oriented Revolt TV network, which he founded in 2013.
But he faces serious competition in his pursuit of BET.
Tyler Perry and Byron Allen are also said to be interested. Perry already owns a minority stake in the BET+ streaming platform, and has a long relationship with BET. Allen owns The Weather Channel and several local TV stations.
BET was founded in 1980 by Bob Johnson and his wife Sheila Johnson. Paramount, then known as Viacom, acquired BET in 2001 for a reported $2.3 billion.
Paramount Global also owns CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, Showtime, and Paramount Pictures. The company announced in January it was combining Showtime and Paramount+, with the properties being rebranded as “Paramount+ With Showtime.”
Selling off part of BET Media Group would provide Paramount Global with cash to invest in programming for its Paramount+ streaming platform and the company’s free Pluto TV streaming service.
According to published reports, Paramount reported its streaming business lost $575 million last quarter.