NBC Universal announced a $3.5 billion acquisition of The Weather Channel, helped along by Mitt Romney’s firm, Bain Capital. It doesn’t come as much of a shock; all of the other bidders for the property dropped out months ago, including CBS. NBC plans to combine its newest cable/Internet asset with NBC Weather Plus, which may be the first time anyone has heard of the operation:
Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but a person familiar with the matter who insisted on anonymity said the purchase price was $3.5 billion in cash. NBC was joined in the deal by the private equity firms The Blackstone Group LP and Bain Capital LLC.
In addition to The Weather Channel, which can be seen by 97 percent of U.S. cable subscribers, the deal also includes several related assets such as weather services for newspapers and radio stations and the widely used Web site Weather.com.
The Weather Channel has been a major advocate for global-warming policies. Combining it with the Keith Olbermann/Chris Matthews network will probably result in a major release of greenhouse gases on its own. Given NBC’s inability to impose even a modicum of balance and objectivity at MS-NBC, we can expect Jeff Zucker to use this new outfit as a platform on which to push even harder for statist policies on energy production and use.