IBM Acquires The Weather Company’s Product and Technology Businesses

The Weather Channel itself remains under current ownership — including NBCU — though it will license data and analytics from IBM

IBM is set to acquire The Weather Company’s Product and Technology businesses — but The Weather Channel will remain untouched from ownership and operational standpoints.

The Weather Company’s B2B, mobile and cloud-based web properties — including WSI, weather.com, Weather Underground and The Weather Company brand — will fall under IBM’s umbrella. The Weather Channel will license weather forecast data and analytics from IBM under a longterm contract.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearance and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.

“The Weather Channel will continue to be owned and supported by our existing shareholders — Bain Capital, Blackstone and NBCUniversal​ — and operate as a standalone business,” said Dave Shull, chief executive officer, The Weather Channel Television Network.

The combo will become the foundation for the new Watson IoT Unit and Watson IoT Cloud platform, building on a $3 billion commitment made by IBM in March. The deal extends the reach of IBM’s cloud data services capabilities and The Weather Company’s business capabilities on a global scale, the companies touted.

“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 vice president, IBM Solutions Portfolio and Research. “This powerful cloud platform will position IBM to arm entire industries with deep multimodal 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,” added David Kenny, chairman and chief executive officer, 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 Watson IoT capabilities by enabling the integration of global atmosphere and weather insights with enterprise information to create disruptive industry solutions that optimize decision-making.”