NBC Universal, along with private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, said Sunday they will buy The Weather Channel from Landmark Communications.
The Weather Channel will be run as a separate entity based in Atlanta with management provided by NBC Universal. In addition, NBC will add Web site weather.com to its list of media properties. (NBC Universal is owned by GE and the parent company of CNBC).
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources told Reuters the price was just below $3.5 billion.
"This will further position NBC Universal as the leading provider of news, information and weather, both online and on television," Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC Universal, said in a press release. "Joining with The Weather Channel properties plays to our strengths in developing and programming cable networks, and in producing and distributing high-quality content across multiple platforms."
The Weather Channel is the third-most distributed cable network, available in 97 percent of cable homes. The weather.com Web site has more than 40 million unique users per month, while weather forecaster Weather Services International has more than 5,000 clients worldwide.
The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the year.