New Media Startup Cheddar Bought by Altice

Cheddar, the post-cable network that streams news and business stories to a millennial audience, has a new owner today.

Altice USA has announced it is buying Cheddar for $200 million, ending Cheddar’s time as an independent startup media company and giving Altice USA a potent, growing content source to reach young viewers oblivious to news and business coverage by cable stalwarts CNN, CNBC and Fox News. Cheddar owns a news network, a business news network, a college focused network, CheddarU, and RateMyProfessor.com, which lets students rate their instructors.

Cheddar will join Altice’s slate of news networks, NYC based News 12 and i24News. Cheddar’s Founder and CEO, Jon Steinberg will lead Cheddar, and Altice’s news networks.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Altice has big plans for Cheddar. It wants to expand is live advertising services both locally and nationally. Cheddar will be developing and deploying advertising products for Altice, particularly Altice One and a4 advertising platform.

“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,” said Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei in a statement. “We look forward to seeing our growing news team continuing to deliver the best content for our viewers and more opportunities for our advertisers.”

Cheddar, in return, will likely get guaranteed access to Altice’s 4.9 million residential and business customers across 21 states (its broadband services are divided between Optimum and Suddenlink brands.)

Altice USA is one of several of Cheddar’s investors. It participated in its Series C funding round in 2017, raising $19 million. (Other investors include Lightspeed Venture Partners, Comcast Ventures, AT&T, Ribbit Capital, NYSE, Goldman Sachs, Liberty Global and Amazon) In three years, it has raised $54 million in funding.

Photo credit: Cheddar 

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