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Weather Channel Sale Pegged at $3.5 Billion

NBC Universal and two private equity firms bought The Weather Channel over the holiday weekend for an undisclosed sum reported to be around $3.5 billion. The General Electric-owned network group, along with Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, bought the basic cable channel from Landmark Communications in Norfolk, Va.

The deal includes weather services for newspapers, radio stations and the Web, where nets 40 million unique visitors per month. Blackstone, Deutsche Bank, GE Commercial Finance, GSO Capital, Bain and Sankaty Advisors contributed financing.

Weather is considered a particularly good fit for NBC because the network runs a likewise-themed digital multicast service, Weather Plus, launched in 2004. The Weather Channel relaunched in hi-def last month.