Atlanta-based Weather Channel is up for sale. The service is owned by an investment group and NBC Universal, and according to Bloomberg News, has now instructed banks to seek a buyer.
Bain Capital, Blackstone Group and NBC Universal bought the channel for $3.8 billion in 2008 and had intended to leverage its once important presence on every US cable and DTH service. However, consumers can now get up-to-the-minute weather data from on-line services and consequently the Weather Channel has struggled to maintain its carriage rates with MSOs.
As at February this year the channel was available to 97.3 million homes.
One option being considered is selling off the broadcast channel and with the current investors holding on to the digital aspects of the business which includes Weather Services International (WSI) and Weatherscan.
The Weather Channel is one of the early pioneers of multichannel broadcasting, and was launched in 1982 by Landmark Communications.