Altice USA Buys Cheddar For $200M, Installs Founder Jon Steinberg As News Chief


In the latest land grab in ad-supported streaming, cable and broadband provider Altice USA is paying $200 million to acquire news network Cheddar.

Cheddar’s twin business and news networks are available in 40 million pay-TV homes through a range of MVPD and internet bundles, including on Altice, Charter and Comcast. The young-skewing networks are also available via free, ad-supported services like the Roku Channel and Pluto TV (which Viacom bought for $340 million earlier this year), as well as on systems operated by some 600 college campuses.

The brand also has a sizable social footprint across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and other platforms, generating over 400 million video views a month. Its OTT viewership is most concentrated in ages 25 to 34, and its campus network has the largest out-of-home reach of any network aimed at 18-to-24.

Within Altice USA, which was spun off in 2018 from the French company that acquired Cablevision in 2015, Cheddar will be part of Altice USA News. It will complement offerings such as Optimum’s News 12 Networks and international and current affairs news network i24NEWS.

Jon Steinberg, an alum of BuzzFeed who is founder and CEO of Cheddar, 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,” Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei said in the official announcement. “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.”

Steinberg said the 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.”

The deal is expected to close in the next two months.

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