The popular cable network dedicated to weather, The Weather Channel, has been sold. Media mogul Byron Allen has made a deal through his Entertainment Studios to acquire the network from its owners, The Blackstone Group, Bain Capital and Comcast/NBCUniversal. While the terms of the deal weren’t made public, the Hollywood Reporter pegs the deal to be around $300million. The deal does not include The Weather Channel’s digital properties, such as their websites, weather.com and wunderground.com, or their mobile app; those were sold in October of 2015 to IBM. IBM continues to license its weather data to the cable network.
The estimated value of the deal shows the declining value of cable networks. In 2008, The Weather Channel was acquired by Bain Capital, Blackstone, and NBCUniversal in 2008 for $3.5billion.
The Weather Channel joins other Entertainment Studios properties like Cars.tv, Pets.tv and Recipe.tv. The company’s owner, Byron Allen, got his start in television as the teenage co-host of the early 1980’s reality show, “Real People” on NBC.
“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.” “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 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.”
Bad weather was good for business at The Weather Channel in 2017. According to Nielsen data, The Weather Channel had it’s most-watched year since 2013. Versus 2016, The Weather Channel saw an increase of 10% of overall viewers for the year. Harris Poll also named the network the “TV News Brand of the Year” for the seventh year in a row.
The cable network first went on the air on May 2, 1982. The debut broadcast featured meteorologists Bruce Edwards and Andre Bernier. The network was founded by meteorologist John Coleman who passed away this January.