Altice USA to Acquire Cheddar

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    Leading Digital-First News Company to Join the Altice USA News Group
    Comprising News 12 Networks and i24NEWS

    Combines Linear and Digital-First News Expertise; Enhances Altice
    News Content, Distribution and Audience Reach

    NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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.

    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
      formats.
    • 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
      programming.
    • 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
    advertisers.”

    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 RateMyProfessors.com, 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

    Contacts

    Altice USA Communications
    Lisa Anselmo
    [email protected]
    929-418-4362

    Altice
    USA Investor Relations
    Nick Brown
    [email protected]
    917-589-9983