NBCU Deal Yields ‘Secret Weapon’

Weather_Channel_Mobile.jpgMediaPost is reporting that in acquiring The Weather Channel for $3.5 billion, NBC Universal may get even more than it paid for via weather.com, the cable network’s Web site.

What does that mean? Gartner media analyst Andrew Frank wrote in a blog post Tuesday that weather.com also has a “secret weapon” in the zip codes it collects from users seeking local weather reports, the article said.

“That data is better than the ZIP code in your Facebook profile, because it’s a good indicator of where you actually are or shortly plan to be, and is thus of significant value to marketers, which keeps weather.com’s online ad rates high,” Frank wrote.

As a result, weather.com has the potential to “increase the value of low-cost display ads on other social networks, blogs and news sites by helping to better target advertising.” Incidentally, the Weather Channel’s mobile portal was the third most-viewed cell phone Web site in the U.S. in May, according to Nielsen Mobile. Now, if they can only figure out how to leverage all those GPS chips in the phones… wait, that’s getting way too Orwellian for such a sunny afternoon.