Cheddar planning UHF broadcasts of its online content

Screenshot of Cheddar live broadcast offered via its website. Image: Cheddar

Online business news channel Cheddar is teaming with Dunkin’ Donuts to give millennials TV antennas so they can tune into over-the-air broadcasts planned by the network.

According to Bloomberg, Cheddar intends to lease broadcast airwaves from DTV America in order to air its content on UHF stations in five markets. It’s working with Dunkin’ Donuts to hand out TV antennas at events in those markets, which include Cleveland; Orlando, Florida; and Kansas City, Missouri.

Of course, the idea of handing out free antennas to get consumers to tune into free OTA programming has been tried before. Last year, broadcast group Sinclair announced plans to hand out $1 million worth of free antennas in cooperation with TV Freedom, as a way of pushing back against pay-TV operators.


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Cheddar founder Jon Steinberg told the publication his company is moving toward traditional broadcast in response to the uptick in broadcast TV homes in the U.S. and the rising amount of younger consumers who are buying OTA TV antennas to supplement subscriptions to SVOD services including Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Cheddar offers a paid subscription tier, including six hours of live programming daily, that is distributed via Sling TV, Amazon Prime and the company’s own app. Cheddar also offers two to three hours of original content daily via Facebook. That free option will be what Cheddar broadcasts over the UHF stations.

In addition to its planned UHF broadcasts, Cheddar is also seeking carriage in a number of the new virtual MVPDs and skinny bundles that have recently launched or soon will.

Cheddar launched last year with a goal of attracting younger audiences and talent. The company in September last year announced a $10 million round of funding, including an investment from Comcast Ventures.

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