Cheddar, Web Video Maker, Bets Millennials Will Use TV Antennas
Cheddar, an online business news channel that targets millennials, is betting it can coax young viewers to look up from their mobile phones to watch old-time broadcast TV, and it’s giving away antennas with Dunkin’ Donuts to prove it.
The network will air programming on digital UHF stations in five markets that reach more than 4 million homes. Cheddar is renting the broadcast spectrum from DTV America, which owns the licenses. Dunkin’ Donuts, which already advertises on Cheddar, will distribute antennas at events in those markets.
While young viewers don’t watch much regular TV, some are buying antennas to supplement their Netflix and Amazon binge-watching with still-free over-the-air-programming, said Jon Steinberg, founder of Cheddar and former chief operating officer at BuzzFeed. The company cited data showing the number of broadcast TV homes is rising, even as cable-TV accounts have peaked and are shrinking.
“Anywhere we can provide a stream that replicates that cable news viewing experience is where we’re going to be,” Steinberg said in an interview.
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The digital antennas are slim rectangles that bear little resemblance to old-fashioned “bunny ears” and offer a variety of free-to-air broadcast stations at a low cost. Cheddar will air on so-called UHF subchannels, bits of the spectrum that came into use when broadcasters switched to digital signals. Its videos will appear in Cleveland; Orlando, Florida; and Kansas City, Missouri -- on channel 42.5 in the latter market.