BYRON ALLEN'S ENTERTAINMENT STUDIOS INC., MAKES IT RAIN WITH ACQUISITION OF THE WEATHER CHANNEL.
Compiled By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Entertainment Studios, Inc., (www.es.tv), is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of film and television. It has 41 shows on the air and eight 24-hour HD cable television networks reaching nearly 160 million aggregate subscribers nationwide.
The multi-media studio owned by Byron Allen proudly announced its recent acquisition of the Weather Group, the parent company of The Weather Channel television network and Local Now streaming service.
Allen purchased the Weather Group for $300 million through his company, Allen Media LLC, from The Blackstone Group, Bain Capital, and Comcast/NBCUniversal.
Allen's expansion into live and local cable news is the latest step Entertainment Studios has taken in further expanding the global reach of its programming and content.
The Entertainment Studios divisions now include: broadcast television syndication, production, and distribution of more than 41 programs, eight 24/7 cable television networks, theatrical motion picture production, acquisition and distribution, digital movie acquisition and distribution, and global news publishing – making Entertainment Studios one of the largest privately-held media companies in the world.
Entertainment Studios is 100 percent owned by Allen who started the company from his dining room table 25 years ago.
The Weather Channel is one of the largest cable television networks not owned by a major conglomerate, and ranks number one in weather news.
Harris Poll has ranked The Weather Channel as the "TV News Brand of the Year" for eight years in a row, and the network is the nation's most trusted resource for daily weather information.
During the most recent 2017 hurricane season, The Weather Channel was the number one network for live coverage during Hurricane Harvey, while one in three American households followed Hurricane Irma on The Weather Channel.
"The Weather Channel is one of the most trusted and extremely important cable networks, with information vitally important to the safety and protection of our lives," said Byron Allen, Founder, Chairman, & CEO of Entertainment Studios. "We welcome The Weather Channel, which has been seen in American households for nearly four decades, to our cable television networks division. The acquisition of The Weather Channel is strategic, as we begin our process of investing billions of dollars over the next five years to acquire some of the best media assets around the world."
"We are excited to join Entertainment Studios, and we are especially proud to be part of one of the largest emerging global media companies," said Dave Shull, CEO of The Weather Channel. "Byron Allen's purchase of our innovative and forward-thinking organization will increase the value we bring to our viewers, distributors, and advertisers."
ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT STUDIOS:
Chairman and CEO Byron Allen founded Entertainment Studios in 1993. Headquartered in Los Angeles, it has offices in New York, Chicago, Denver, and Raleigh.
Entertainment Studios owns eight 24-hour HD cable television networks serving nearly 160 million subscribers: The Weather Channel, Pets.TV, Comedy.TV, Recipe.TV, Cars.TV, ES.TV, Mydestination.TV, and Justice Central.TV.
The company also produces, distributes, and sells advertising for 41 television programs, making it one of the largest independent producers/distributors of first-run syndicated television programming for broadcast television stations.
With a library of over 5,000 hours of owned content across multiple genres, Entertainment Studios provides video content to broadcast television stations, cable television networks, mobile devices, multimedia platforms, and the World Wide Web. Our mission is to provide excellent programming to our viewers, online users, and Fortune 500 advertising partners.
In 2015, Entertainment Studios purchased Freestyle Releasing, now called Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, a full-service, theatrical motion picture distribution company that specializes in representing independent companies, major studios, and mini-major studios for the purpose of exhibiting their films as first-class theatrical releases.
ESMP released 2017's highest-grossing independent movie, the shark thriller “47 Meters Down” which has grossed over $44.3 million to date, and the critically-acclaimed and commercially successful Western “Hostiles. The digital distribution unit of Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, Freestyle Digital Media, supplies quality commercial film and TV content directly to all US VOD/SVOD rental DVD/Kiosks and theaters using the latest cloud-based technologies to automate digital workflow.
Freestyle Digital Media provides our content audience a positive digital viewing experience on every device everywhere.
In 2016, Entertainment Studios purchased TheGrio, a digital video-centric news community platform devoted to providing African-Americans with compelling stories and perspectives currently underrepresented in existing national news outlets. TheGrio features aggregated and original video packages, news articles and opinion pieces on topics that include breaking news, politics, health, business and entertainment.
Originally launched in 2009, the platform was then purchased by NBC News in 2010. The digital platform remains focused on curating exciting digital content and currently has more than 20 million annual visitors.
ABOUT THE WEATHER CHANNEL:
For more than 35 years, The Weather Channel has been the leader in severe weather coverage, providing the most comprehensive analysis of any media outlet and serving as the nation's only 24-hour source of national storm coverage.
For seven years in a row, Harris Poll has ranked The Weather Channel as the "TV News Brand of the Year." With trusted meteorologists who analyze, forecast and report the weather - its expertise is unrivaled.
Engaging with fans and delivering content to feed their fascination with all things weather is paramount to the network's mission. With the recently launched community platform, weloveweather.tv, the network created a 2-way dialogue with fans, establishing an ongoing relationship with those that have a passion for weather. For more information visit www.weathergroup.com.
ABOUT LOCAL NOW:
Local Now is a streaming service that is changing the way Americans access information about their communities. Powered by the Weather Channel and other leading content partners, Local Now delivers real-time, hyper-local news, weather, traffic, sports, and lifestyle content.
With unique technology that transmits localized information to hundreds of markets across the United States, Local Now delivers the same information seen in a 30 to 60 minute local news broadcast segment, to fit with viewers own schedules and in a fraction of the time. Local Now is available on Roku, SlingTV, YouTube TV, fuboTV, and other major OTT platforms.
Editor’s Note: Information used in this report obtained from Entertainment Studios, Inc. Byron Allen. Photo: Entertainment Studios.