NBC And Time Warner (TWX) Battle For The Weather Channel

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Late word is that The Weather Channel will be sold to either GE’s (GE) NBCU unit, in partnership with Blackstone (BX), or to Time Warner (TWX).

According to Reuters, "The winning bid is expected to range between $3.5 billion and $4 billion, but closer to $3.5 billion, one source said." Assuming that the number is a reasonable multiple of cash-flow, getting the company would be a brilliant deal.

While a recession may hurt some TV revenue from VOD operations and programming like The Home Shopping Network, the need for weather information should remain constant. The same is true with online operation Weather.com. Ebay (EBAY) and other e-commerce firms may get banged up, but getting forecasts online is part of a great American tradition that predates the web and goes back to the Farmer’s Almanac. As a matter of fact, the book is probably still more accurate.

Douglas A. McIntyre