Weather Channel bidders line up

NBC Universal, CBS could be buyers

NEW YORK -- NBC Universal and CBS Corp. may be among those readying bids for the Weather Channel, which is being put up for sale by its owner, Virginia-based Landmark Communications.

In today's media landscape, however, Landmark's initial $5 billion price tag has seemed somewhat steep. Another round of bidding will get started next month.

One of the biggest parts of a Weather Channel purchase would be the acquisition of Weather.com. NBC already has NBC Weather Plus that competes with the Weather Channel, using local affiliates and a digital cable position. It also operates WeatherPlus.com.

The Weather Channel also could be used to help CBS, which doesn't have a lot of cable assets that can be used as leverage in talks for retransmission consent. CBS is also interested in acquiring online assets.

NBC Uni and CBS declined comment.