The Weather Channel, a once-utility-like standby television, has a new owner.
Media mogul Byron Allen has made a deal through his entertainment studios to acquire the television network from its owners, The Blackstone Group, Bain Capital and Comcast / NBCUniversal. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although a source estimated the deal to be in the range of $ 300 million.
The Weather Channel, which began airing on linear television in 1982, offers local and national storm updates as well as programming series such as Super American / Natural, morning show AMHQ, Highway through hell, Hurricane 360 and So do you think you would survive? In 2017, as hurricanes and fires grabbed headlines, the channel’s ratings increased 14% to an average of 248,000 prime-time viewers.
The television network had been owned by Blackstone, Bain and NBCU since 2008, when that group acquired the channel from Landmark Communications for an advertised price of nearly $ 3.5 billion. At the time, the channel was one of the most widely broadcast in the USA
Notably, Allen’s deal does not include digital assets such as Weather.com, Weather Underground and its Weather Channel app, which were acquired by The Weather Company division of IBM in January 2016. (The Web offerings of The Weather Company attract a large following, with 117,755,000 unique US visitors, according to the comScore report from February 2018.)
“The Weather Channel is one of the most trusted and important cable networks, with information of vital importance to the safety and protection of our lives,” Allen said Thursday in a statement. “We host The Weather Channel, which has been seen in American homes for almost four decades, in our Cable Television Networks division. 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.
“We are thrilled to join Entertainment Studios and are especially proud to be part of one of the world’s largest emerging media companies,” said Dave Shull, CEO of The Weather Channel. “Byron Allen’s purchase of our innovative and forward-thinking organization will increase the value we bring to our viewers, distributors and advertisers. “
With the addition of the network, Entertainment Studios will own eight linear TV channels focused on lifestyle topics including pets, recipes and cars. Allen has also been active in the film and television acquisition space, capturing acclaimed films like Christian Bale’s Western. Hostiles and Ted Kennedy biography Chappaquiddick and plan a sequel to the indie shark thriller 47 meters lower.