Joining with private equity firms Blackstone and Bain Capital, NBC Universal bid $3.5 billion to acquire the Weather Channel and The cable channel is available in 97 percent of all cable TV home and has 96 million U.S. subscribers. With its local coverage and the always popular schadenfreude-laced disaster porn excerpted in the video above, can claim a "people count" of 19 million in the U.S., according to Compete.