Cheddar buys Viacom’s MTV Networks on Campus and launches CheddarU

CheddarU will feature live headline news, technology coverage, and startup stories. (Cheddar)

Cheddar today is making a big push to get its news and content in front of a bigger millennial audience.

Cheddar is acquiring Viacom’s MTV Networks on Campus, the distribution platform for Viacom’s campus-based service MTVU, and using it to broadcast its newest channel, CheddarU.

CheddarU will feature live headline news, technology coverage, and startup stories. It will be broadcast on 1,600 TV screens on more than 600 college campuses. Cheddar said it will reach 9 million students and rack up an average minute audience of 39,000 Adults, based on Nielsen ratings.

Viacom will retain the MTVU linear network and continue to distribute through traditional television providers.

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“We’ve now combined our live news offering with our own distribution. We own our content; we own our pipes. In live news, no one will have a larger college audience, and we will invest in our content every minute of every day to inform, entertain, and inspire this audience. From our studios, through our control rooms, to our encoders, through our satellite uplink and downlink, right to the TV screens, now, no one sits between Cheddar and our viewers,” said Jon Steinberg, Cheddar founder and CEO, in a statement.

Chegg and Pandora are launch sponsors of CheddarU, with Chegg collaborating on programming focused on education, study, and professional development, and Pandora chipping in daily coverage of artists, playlists, and music charts.

CheddarU is made available free of charge, including hardware and installation, to all qualifying universities. The channel is part of a new division within Cheddar called Chednet, which is looking to get more TVs installed and broadcasting its content in locations like hotels, airport lounges, stadiums and restaurant/bar chains.