- Allen Media is acquiring The Weather Channel for $300 million
- The Weather Channel attracted 70 million viewers in 2017
We may be in for a few more laughs while getting caught up on the weather before heading out. Byron Allen made his name as a comedian and has become a serious business man. His Allen Media company is acquiring the Weather Channel for $300 million from Comcast-subsidiary (CMCSA -1.73%) NBCUniversal, Blackstone (BX -2.02%), and Bain Capital. Can he increase the channel’s international and local distribution?
Why This Matters: Allen’s acquisition makes perfect sense as the reality of climate change shows up in dramatic weather events. The Weather Channel attracted 70 million viewers in 2017, a year where several hurricanes and wildfires captivated the U.S. Scientists predict several cities could see temperature increases over three degrees Fahrenheit by 2020. This will have important impacts on sea levels, hurricane severity, and other natural disasters, which is sure to drive viewership.
Allen Media has made waves in the industry in recent years. The company bid for Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation” to the tune of $20 million, before Fox Searchlight ultimately won the bidding for a record $17.5 million. Allen has pushed for increased inclusion of African-Americans in the media through several discrimination lawsuits he has filed against the FCC, Charter (CHTR -0.62%), AT&T (T +0.40%), and DirecTV to the tune of more than $20 billion.
Situational Awareness: Multiple media platforms have reported this story, but couldn’t help but qualify Byron Allen as being a comedian. You didn’t see that qualifier for Dick Costolo, Twitter’s former CEO who also was a comedian early in his career, though not nearly as good as Allen.
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