Cable company Altice USA will acquire digital news network Cheddar Inc. for $200 million the companies announced today. The deal is expected to close within the next two months.
Altice USA first began working with Cheddar in 2017 as an investor. The move expands Altice USA’s footprint in news that already includes News 12 Networks, which was inherited through the company’s Cablevision acquisition, and i24NEWS, which launched in the U.S. in 2017.
“This is all about the news category – this is live, must watch content. We know that it’s very appealing to audiences and we think we have a unique proposition across all the news segments,” Charlie Stewart, Altice USA co-president and CFO told Adweek.
Founded by Jon Steinberg in 2016, Cheddar now broadcasts a total of 19 hours of live news through two networks: Cheddar Business and Cheddar News, the latter of which is geared toward a younger audience.
The network is available through several virtual MVPDs like YouTube TV, Sling, Hulu Live and DirecTV Now; on streaming services such as Pluto and Roku Channel; and on thousands of screens in public places through the CheddarU network, a collection of 1,600 screens in public places like gyms and cafeterias on hundreds of college campuses. Cheddar also operates RateMyProfessors.com, a website for rating teachers.
Steinberg will join Altice USA and lead Altice News, which will include Cheddar, News 12 and i24NEWS.
Altice USA will seemingly further invest in Cheddar, which the company noted will bring on board a “strong news team” that has garnered an enthusiastic millennial audience.
Already, Altice USA partners with Cheddar on tech programming that airs on News 12 and top stories that run on i24NEWS. The company intends to offer its advertising products across the Cheddar brand and bring it on board to its a4 advertising platform.
Cheddar’s about 200 employees will also join the Altice team.
“You basically combine digital with world class brands,” Steinberg said, with Nielsen-backed ratings.