Google’s YouTube TV streams more than 50 traditional broadcast and cable television channels to subscribers — and now, it’s adding the first digital-native networks to the mix.
YouTube TV has added two channels from Cheddar: the startup’s flagship financial-news network and Cheddar Big News, its brand-new general news network. Last month, YouTube TV raised the price of its base package to $40 per month for new customers; Google says it will maintain the introductory $35 monthly price for existing subscribers.
“Cheddar’s emphasis on tech and media news coverage make it a strong fit for the millennial, tech-savvy audience that also loves YouTube TV,” said Christian Oestlien, director of product for YouTube TV.
YouTube TV competes with other over-the-top live TV services, including Dish’s Sling TV, AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Hulu’s live TV bundle, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, and FuboTV. Launched in April 2017, YouTube TV now offers more than 50 networks and features a cloud-based DVR with unlimited storage (programs are available for nine months).
Under the deal with Cheddar, YouTube TV will provide live feeds as well as on-demand content from both of the networks. Separately, Cheddar already operates a free YouTube channel that features news, highlights and short-form documentary videos.
The Cheddar live linear broadcasts and on-demand programming are also distributed on Dish Network’s Sling TV, Comcast X1, Amazon, Facebook, Spotify, Twitter, Twitch and other platforms.
The company plans to launch Cheddar Big News on Sling TV and Philo, the OTT service backed by several cable programmers, in the second quarter of 2018 following its debut on YouTube TV. The channel is a “fresh take on headline news and positive stories,” according to Cheddar, with Coca-Cola Co. signed as the first integrated sponsor for the network. Content partners for Cheddar Big News include AccuWeather and sports services Stadium, VSiN and FanSided.
Cheddar was founded in 2016 by Jon Steinberg, former president and COO of BuzzFeed. Last month the company announced $22 million in Series D financing, led by existing investor Raine Ventures. Other investors include John Malone’s Liberty Global, Goldman Sachs, Antenna Group, 7 Global Capital, Dentsu Ventures, AT&T, Amazon, Altice USA, the New York Stock Exchange, Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video, Comcast Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Ribbit Capital.