Apr 30, 2019 - Economy

Cheddar acquired by Altice USA for $200 million

Cheddar CEO and founder Jon Steinberg. Photo: Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

Cable provider Altice USA announced Tuesday that it acquired the streaming news network Cheddar for $200 million, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters, via Axios' editor-in-chief Nicholas Johnston: The move comes as a sign that Altice, a relative unknown, is jumping into the streaming wars.

The backdrop: Altice and Cheddar's relationship dates back to 2017, when Altice first invested in the live-streaming news startup.

  • Cheddar, launched in January 2016 by CEO and founder Jon Steinberg, managed to successfully negotiate deals on a variety of platforms without affiliate fees, allowing the company to build its distribution to become available in 40 million pay-TV homes — as well as on free, ad-supported services.

Details: The all-cash deal is built on the idea that Altice can raise the profile of its budding news unit, which includes News12, an umbrella of New York news networks, acquired via Cablevision in 2016. Steinberg will transition into the role of president of Altice News.

What they're saying:

  • "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.
  • Steinberg added the goal of the deal 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."

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