NBC Universal, the parent of the NBC network, has agreed to purchase The Weather Channel in a deal that should settle by the end of 2008. According to the Associated Press, NBC Universal will buy the 24-hour weather network for $3.5 billion. The purchase will include other assets from TWC, which is currently owned by Landmark Communications Inc., including the popular weather.com website. NBC Universal cites that there are no plans to make significant changes to The Weather Channel and its operations will continue at its Atlanta headquarters.
Insiders suggest that the largest influence this purchase will have is in 'cross-promotions'. In other words, when a major hurricane threatens the United States, don't be surprised to see well-known expert from The Weather Channel appearing on The Today Show. Weather updates during the Olympics and other sporting events with "...brought to you by The Weather Channel" may be common in the future as well. NBC Universal already owns a weather network, 'WeatherPLUS', which ironically was in competition with TWC. NBC Universal also owns the MSNBC and CNBC cable networks. The Weather Channel recently updated it's facilities to broadcast HD programming which is now available on many cable systems.