Press release

Altice USA to Acquire Cheddar

Sponsored by Businesswire

Altice USA (NYSE: ATUS), one of the largest broadband communications and
video services providers in the United States, today announces that it
has reached an agreement to acquire Cheddar, the digital-first news
company, for $200 million. With this acquisition, Altice broadens its
portfolio of high-quality news businesses by adding Cheddar’s
innovative, digital-first, live business, general news and college
network focused on young professional and millennial audiences. The
transaction is expected to close in the next two months upon receipt of
regulatory approval.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Cheddar Founder and CEO Jon Steinberg and Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei (Photo: Business Wire)

Cheddar Founder and CEO Jon Steinberg and Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei (Photo: Business Wire)

The Cheddar networks are available in approximately 40 million pay tv
homes through MVPDs, all virtual MVPDs (YouTube TV, Sling, Hulu Live,
DIRECTV NOW, etc.), leading free tv systems (Pluto, Roku Channel, etc.),
and a campus network of 1,600 owned and operated screens on 600
campuses. Cheddar recently expanded distribution to millions of homes
through various cable systems, reaching carriage agreements with
Comcast, Charter and Altice USA. Cheddar is available on nearly all
over-the-top subscription pay tv services in the U.S., and has large
social distribution across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter,
LinkedIn, Snapchat and other platforms generating over 400 million video
views a month.

Strategic Highlights

Cheddar joins Altice USA News, complementing Altice’s hyperlocal and
global news offerings that include the most watched news channel in the
Optimum footprint News 12 Networks, and international and current
affairs news network i24NEWS. The combination of News 12 and i24NEWS’
expertise in linear content and distribution plus Cheddar’s expertise in
digital-first content and distribution provides several benefits:

  • With the acquisition of Cheddar, Altice’s full suite of news offerings
    now covers hyperlocal, national, business and international content,
    reaching broader and more diverse audiences on both digital and linear
  • Cheddar brings a strong news team with an engaged young professional
    and millennial audience, providing a significant opportunity to
    advance Altice USA News from a content, distribution and audience
    reach perspective, as well as creating more value for advertisers.
  • Altice USA News currently partners with Cheddar on relevant
    programming: News 12 airs on its seven stations in the NY tri-state
    area the daily Cheddar Tech Report, and i24NEWS runs top stories from
    Cheddar as part of its global news coverage. This combination will
    provide more opportunities for collaborative and complementary
  • Cheddar will continue to expand its fast-growing live advertising
    products that currently serve large national brands and bring
    additional scale and local targeting to these offerings via dynamic ad
    insertion into News 12 and i24NEWS inventory.
  • Cheddar anticipates developing and deploying additional advertising
    products across the Altice footprint, namely on its advanced 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. “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

“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. “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.”

Background on Cheddar

Cheddar currently broadcasts 19 hours a day of live news through two
networks: Cheddar Business, a business news network covering the most
innovative executives, founders, products, and technologies transforming
our lives and economy; and Cheddar News, a fast-paced, young,
non-partisan general news and headline news network.

The company owns the CheddarU network of 1,600 screens in the public
spaces (gyms, cafeterias, student unions) of 600 college campuses.
Cheddar also owns and operated the site, where over
5 million students go to rate and review their professors each month.

Cheddar’s OTT viewership is most concentrated in ages 25 to 34, and its
campus network has the largest out of home reach of any 18 to
24-year-old network1.

This transaction does not materially impact Altice USA’s leverage ratio
and has no impact on its planned share repurchases for 2019. Altice USA
began its partnership with Cheddar in 2017 as an investor in the company.

LionTree Advisors served as exclusive financial advisor to Cheddar, and
Cooley served as legal counsel to Cheddar.

About Altice USA

Altice USA (NYSE: ATUS) is one of the largest broadband communications
and video services providers in the United States, delivering broadband,
pay television, telephony services, Wi-Fi hotspot access, proprietary
content and advertising services to approximately 4.9 million
residential and business customers across 21 states through its Optimum
and Suddenlink brands. The company operates a4, an advanced
advertising and data business, which provides audience-based,
multiscreen advertising solutions to local, regional and national
businesses and advertising clients. Altice also operates hyperlocal news
network News 12 Networks and international news and current affairs
network i24NEWS.

About Cheddar

Cheddar is the leading post-cable networks company. Its programming is
available on Sling TV, DirecTV NOW, Hulu, YouTube TV, Comcast X1,
Charter Spectrum, Sony PlayStation Vue, Snapchat, fuboTV, Philo, Amazon,
Twitch, Twitter, 60% of smart TVs in the U.S., and Facebook. Cheddar
currently broadcasts two live video news networks: Cheddar Business,
which covers the most innovative executives, founders, products, and
technologies transforming our lives and economy, and Cheddar News, a
fast-paced, young, non-partisan general and headline news network. The
company broadcasts from the trading floor of the New York Stock
Exchange, its street-level studio in the glass corner of the Sprint
Store in the Flatiron Building, WeWork in Los Angeles, and the White
House. Cheddar was founded by Jon Steinberg, President and Chief
Operating Officer of BuzzFeed from 2010 to 2014. Its investors include
Lightspeed Venture Partners, Raine Ventures, Altice USA, Comcast
Ventures, AT&T, Ribbit Capital, The New York Stock Exchange, Goldman
Sachs, Liberty Global, Amazon, Homebrew, WGI Group, 7 Global Capital,
Antenna Group, and Dentsu Ventures.


1 Source: Cogent Reports March 2019 and Nielsen Place
Based Survey June 2018