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Comedian and producer Byron Allen purchased the Weather Channel TV network as he looks to expand his film and TV production company into a major media business.
According to a statement on Thursday, Allen’s Entertainment Studios Inc. bought the network from Blackstone Group, Bain Capital and Comcast Corp. for approximately $300 million according to a person familiar with the terms. 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. In an interview, 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.” Allen said he wants to invest more in the Weather Channel, expanding both its international and local distribution. It’s part of a broader strategy to invest what he said would be billions of dollars in the media and entertainment industry.
The Comcast-Blackstone-Bain-led group had purchased the Weather Channel in 2008 for about $3.5 billion. A spokesman for Blackstone declined to comment.