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The Weather Channel has been sold to Entertainment Studios, a media company that includes several networks including Cars.tv, Pets.tv and Recipe.tv.
Entertainment Studios is owned by media entrepreneur Byron Allen, who got his start in TV as a teenage co-host of the early 1980’s NBC reality show Real People.
“The Weather Channel is one of the most trusted and extremely important cable networks, with information vitally important to the safety and protection of our lives,” said Allen in a statement “We welcome The Weather Channel, which has been seen in American households for nearly four decades, to our cable television networks division.”
Allen said this acquisition is not his last, as his company expects to invest “billions of dollars over the next five years to acquire some of the best media assets around the world.”
Allen is acquiring the Weather Group from The Blackstone Group, Bain Capital, and Comcast/NBCUniversal. The price is reported to be $300 million.
In 2008, NBC Universal, along with private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, acquired The Weather Channel from Landmark Communications for $3.5 billion. In the following years, the channel restructured, cut staff, and added long-form programming.
In 2015, IBM acquired the digital assets of the business for $2 billion, including mobile and cloud-based web properties, weather.com, and WSI which provides forecasts to clients like local TV stations and government agencies. The TV channel would go its own way, with potential suitors looming.
“We are excited to join Entertainment Studios, and we are especially proud to be part of one of the largest emerging global media companies,” said Dave Shull, CEO of 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.”