The Weather Channel has a new home: Entertainment Studios, owner of Pets.TV and several other cable channels.
Los Angeles-based Entertainment Studios acquired the chain’s parent company, The Weather Group, from Blackstone Group, Bain Capital and Comcast NBCUniversal. The streaming news service Local Now was also acquired as part of the deal, announced Thursday.
The purchase price of The Weather Channel and Local Now was reportedly $ 300 million, according to Bloomberg. Entertainment Studios has not confirmed this figure.
That’s well below the $ 3.5 billion that Comcast NBC Universal and investment firms paid Landmark Communications for The Weather Co. in 2008. Three years ago, IBM has acquired the digital assets of The Weather Co. including the Weather.com website in a deal valued at more than $ 2 billion.
“The Weather Channel is one of the most trusted and important cable networks, with information vitally important to the safety and protection of our lives,” said Byron Allen, Founder, President and CEO of Entertainment Studios in a press release announcing the acquisition. “The acquisition of The Weather Channel is strategic as we begin our process of investing billions of dollars over the next five years to acquire some of the world’s best media assets.”
Entertainment Studios currently owns eight 24-hour high-definition cable television networks, with nearly 160 million subscribers, including Pets.TV, Comedy.TV, Recipe.TV and Cars.TV.
Beyond television, Allen also broadened the reach of movie entertainment studios. The studio recently released the film Hostiles, with Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike, and next month Chappaquiddick arrives in theaters.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.