Expect a flurry of cross-media promotions between the NBC Universal and The Weather Channel, now that NBC has agreed to buy the cable outfit. NBC and private-equity firms Bain Capital and
Blackstone Group agreed to buy The Weather Channel from Landmark Communications for an estimated $3.5 billion.
NBC CEO Jeff Zucker points to NBCU's success with cable acquisitions
Bravo, Sci Fi and Oxygen in explaining the Weather buyout. Cross-promotional opportunities are "a big part of this deal," he says, mentioning NBC's TV stations, CNBC, MSNBC and shows such as "Today"
and "Dateline" as possible Weather content partners.
NBC is buying one of the last big independent cable networks. The Weather Channel reaches into more than 97% of U.S. cable households, its weather.com site has nearly 40 million unique visitors per month, and its mobile content business has more than 6 million unique visitors per month.