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IBM said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire the digital business of the company that includes The Weather Channel, while NBCUniversal and other owners will retain the TV network.
Financial details weren’t disclosed. The acquisition is valued at more than $2 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The digital assets acquired from what is called The Weather Company include the Weather Channel and Weather Underground apps and websites. The Weather Channel network will license weather forecast data and analytics from IBM under a long-term agreement, the deal partners said.
“The Weather Channel will continue to be owned and supported by our existing shareholders — Bain Capital, Blackstone and NBCUniversal? — and operate as a stand-alone business,” said Dave Shull, CEO of The Weather Channel Television Network. “Each month, almost half of all American households tune in to The Weather Channel network for coverage of severe weather, daily forecasts and the science behind the weather. With our world-class weather experts and thousands of localized versions of the network, we are uniquely positioned to provide the world’s best storm coverage as a hyper-local streaming service ?as well.”
The three companies had acquired the company in 2008 for about $3.5 billion.
Shull added: “We are continuing to invest in our strategic partnerships with our distributors, advertisers and emerging technology startups.”
And he said: “The Weather Channel operates as a distinct and separate business with its own leadership team, which enables this to be a smooth and seamless transition. We believe a bright future lies ahead for the television business as the most trusted source of weather information.”
“The Weather Company’s extremely high-volume data platform, coupled with IBM’s global cloud and the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of Watson, will be unsurpassed in the Internet of Things, providing our clients significant competitive advantage as they link their business and sensor data with weather and other pertinent information in real time,” said John Kelly, senior vp IBM solutions portfolio and research. “This powerful cloud platform will position IBM to arm entire industries with deep multi-modal insights that will help enterprises gain clarity and take action from the oceans of data being generated around them.”
“We see the next wave of improved forecasting coming from the intersection of atmospheric science, computer science and analytics,” said David Kenny, chairman and CEO of The Weather Company. “Upon closing of this deal, The Weather Company will continue to be able to help improve the precision of weather forecasts and further deepen IBM’s … capabilities by enabling the integration of global atmosphere and weather insights with enterprise information to create disruptive industry solutions that optimize decision-making.”
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