Altice USA, the broadband communications and video services provider, has reached an agreement to acquire Cheddar, the digital-first news company, for $200 million (€178.8m).
The Cheddar networks are available in approximately 40 million US pay-TV homes through MVPDs, all virtual MVPDs (YouTube TV, Sling, Hulu Live, DirecTV NOW etc), free tv systems (Pluto, Roku Channel, etc.), and a campus network of 1,600 owned and operated screens on 600 campuses.
Cheddar recently expanded distribution to millions of homes through various cable systems, reaching carriage agreements with Comcast, Charter and Altice USA. Cheddar is available on nearly all OTT subscription pay-TV services in the US, and has large social distribution across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and other platforms generating over 400 million video views a month.
Cheddar joins Altice USA News, complementing Altice’s hyperlocal and global news offerings that include the most watched news channel in the Optimum footprint News 12 Networks, and international and current affairs news network i24NEWS.
Cheddar Founder and CEO Jon Steinberg will join Altice USA to lead Altice News, including Cheddar, News 12 and i24NEWS.
“Cheddar has demonstrated an innovative approach to live news while building an engaged audience, solid followership and a strong brand,” said Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei. “As one of Cheddar’s early investors, we have enjoyed our partnership with Jon and admire the entrepreneurial spirit, energy and smart disruptive mentality that he brings to the news business. The Cheddar culture and mindset are the perfect fit for Altice USA, and we’re excited to welcome Jon and the Cheddar team to the Altice family. We look forward to seeing our growing news team continue to deliver the best content for our viewers and more opportunities for our advertisers.”
“Our goal is to make Altice News a leader in local, business, national, and international news everywhere as we look to build a live news offering for customers in the traditional pay TV ecosystem, as well as those looking to a la carte alternative SVOD services, vMVPDs, and free systems for their non-news entertainment,” said Steinberg. “The Altice team and Altice Way are as entrepreneurial as it gets with amazing markets, world-class local and international news, an amazing broadband network, and a soon to launch mobile offering. I can’t wait for Cheddar to begin working with Altice’s team.”
The transaction is expected to close in the next two months upon receipt of regulatory approval.