Tyler Perry makes history as the first Black man to buy two TV networks, as he purchased controlling interests in BET and VH1
Tyler Perry buys the BET and VH1 networks for $400 million
Tyler Perry has been working longer than most realize and he has a billion dollar empire. It all started with Perry’s stage plays. After a decade of doing plays, Tyler Perry released Diary of a Mad Black Woman with Lionsgate distributing the film. That deal led to a $200 million sitcom deal with TBS. In addition, he had a very lucrative first look movie deal with Lionsgate. During that first decade, all of his films grossed hundreds of millions of dollars. As a result, Viacom came with a deal where they paid Perry $150 million a year to create content. Now, Tyler Perry has purchased BET and VH1 from them.
Tyler Perry always had ambitions of owning his own television network. In 2007, Perry launched his own online network, which he called Tyler TV. Later, he announced his ambitions to form his TPTV network, which was during his time working with TBS. In 2012, Tyler Perry left his deal with TBS and began producing primetime soap operas for the OWN network and Discovery networks. After seven years, he joined Viacom with a unique deal with BET and BET+.
Tyler Perry expressed interest in buying BET, when Paramount Global announced they were selling their majority stake in the company. Some reorganizing of the company has now placed VH1 into the BET Media Group, which Tyler Perry has now purchased. As a result, VH1 is now owned by Perry, in addition to BET. This makes Perry the first Black man to purchase two major cable channels. Also, this explains why “Love & Hip Hop” moved to MTV.