Black Excellence: Comedian Byron Allen Entertainment Studios Buys the Weather Channel for $300 Million
Comedian and producer Byron Allen acquired the Weather Channel TV network as he looks to expand his film and TV production company into a major media business.
Allen’s Entertainment Studios Inc. bought the network from Blackstone Group, Bain Capital and Comcast Corp., according to a statement Thursday. The price was approximately $300 million, according to a person familiar with the terms who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. That’s a fraction of what the larger company sold for a decade ago.
The deal includes the famous cable TV network, but not online assets such as the website Weather.com and related mobile apps, which were acquired by International Business Machines Corp. in January 2016. In an interview on a day in which rain and snow blanketed much of the U.S., Allen said he was attracted to the reach and familiarity of the brand.
“Snowstorms, rain, mudslides, our lives and our families’ safety depend on this info,” Allen said. “When a big storm happens, it’s the Super Bowl of weather. As many as 30 million people watch.”
With the acquisition of The Weather Channel and Local Now, Allen expands into live and local cable news. The Entertainment Studios divisions now include broadcast television syndication, production, and distribution of more than 41 programs; eight 24/7 cable television networks; theatrical motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; digital movie acquisition and distribution; and global news publishing – making Entertainment Studios one of the largest privately held media companies in the world.
Entertainment Studios is 100% owned by Allen, who started the company from his dining room table 25 years ago
Credit Source: Bloomberg