By: Tom Huddleston, Jr.
Cheddar, the live-streaming financial news network aimed at millennials, is making the jump from the Internet to cable television in a new deal with Univision’s Fusion TV network.
Cheddar, a startup launched in early 2016 by former BuzzFeed president Jon Steinberg that has been referred to as “CNBC for millennials,” announced the deal with Fusion Media Group on Sunday evening. The agreement calls for Fusion TV to air two hours of Cheddar programming every weekday afternoon, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET., starting later this month. With a focus on younger, business- and tech-savvy viewers, Cheddar broadcasts trending financial news live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and from a studio in Manhattan’s Flatiron Building.
Cheddar’s programming on Fusion TV will be available for cable users on networks such as DISH, DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon Fios, and Charter Communications, among others.
“Our audience craves enriching programming that shares their curiosity, sharpness, and passion,” Fusion TV president Daniel Eilemberg said in a statement. “Cheddar is taking a young, conversational approach to covering news, culture, finance and technology live, every day, in unique, accessible and exciting ways.”
The deal with Fusion represents an interesting pivot for Cheddar, a previously digital-only startup that describes itself as a “post-cable network,” but which will now create programming that airs on cable. The network’s live broadcasts have typically streamed for free on Cheddar.com, as well as on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and the startup produces eight hours of programming each weekday. Cheddar CEO Steinberg said in a statement that Fusion TV “shares our commitment to experimentation and outside-the-box thinking when it comes to creating and delivering content, making them a great partner for Cheddar as we continue to expand our reach.”
Last year, Cheddar added a subscription option powered by Vimeo, and priced at $2.99 per month, offering viewers access to full-length interviews and other additional content. The company also recently increased its presence on Twitter, adding an hour-long streaming show called Opening Bell that airs daily every morning from the NYSE in addition to Cheddar’s Closing Bell show that airs every afternoon on Twitter. (That move came as financial news giant Bloomberg also launched its own streaming presence on Twitter.)
As of May, Cheddar has raised more than $32 million from investors including AT&T, Amazon, the New York Stock Exchange, and Comcast Ventures, valuing the company at roughly $85 million.Earlier this year, Steinberg said that Cheddar was up to roughly one million daily live viewers across all platforms, and the company is reportedly on track to reach between $8 to $10 million in revenue in 2017 after pulling in $2.5 million in its first year. The company also cites a study from Market Strategies International (MSI) finding that the network’s reach grew by 8% among U.S. millennials over its first year of broadcasting. Those numbers may have proved attractive to Fusion Media Group, the Univision division that caters to the advertiser-friendly millennial demographic, but which also recently underwent a restructuring resulting in layoffs that hit more than 200 people.