50 Cent emerged as a potential buyer for the BET Media Group as Paramount considers selling its major stake in the company.
According to TMZ and the Wall Street Journal, 50 Cent teamed up with Shaquille O’Neal and Kenya Barris to purchase BET. The trio aligned with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners in their bid for the network.
Earlier this week, 50 Cent and Barris were spotted at the Paramount offices in New York. A source told TMZ the talks were significant.
“It’s not a done deal, but they’re deep in it,” the source said.
50 Cent and his partners face competition from big names such as Tyler Perry and Diddy. Perry already owns a minority stake in BET but wants to be the majority owner.
“I’ve been there for four years now and had tremendous success,” he told Entertainment Tonight in April. “I wasn’t expecting this to happen, so, yes – if that is possible, I’m very, very interested in taking as much of it as I can.”
Diddy called for BET to return to its roots as a Black-owned network in March.
“It’s time for @BET to be Black-owned again so we have the power to tell our own stories, control our own narrative!” he wrote on Instagram. “This is not about me it’s about WE!!!!”
50 Cent hasn’t publicly commented on the reports about his interest in BET.