Altice USA acquiring Cheddar news network for $200M

Cheddar networks reach approximately 40 million pay TV homes. (Cheddar)

Pay TV provider Altice USA today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire digital news company Cheddar for $200 million.

The deal will bolster Altice’s current portfolio of news businesses, including News 12 Networks and international and current affairs news network i24NEWS. The companies said the transaction is expected to close in the next two months after it gains regulatory approval.

Cheddar also plans to develop and deploy additional advertising products across the Altice footprint on Altice One and a4 advertising platform. 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 in a statement. "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."

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“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.”

Cheddar networks reach approximately 40 million pay TV homes through MVPDs, 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 also has social distribution across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and other platforms, where the company said it generates more than 400 million video views a month.