G4 Media, LLC is the parent company of G4, a 24-hour cable and satellite channel originally dedicated to video games. NBCUniversal holds a controlling interest in G4 Media, with Dish Network holding a minority interest of approximately 12% because its former parent company held a minority interest in TechTV and owned Dish Network. Prior to the Comcast NBC merger, Comcast owned the network, previously named G4 Media, Inc.
In early 2004, G4 Media (at the time owned entirely by Comcast) announced the purchase of a controlling interest in TechTV. On May 28, 2004, G4 and TechTV merged into a hybrid network called G4techTV. EchoStar (which held a minority interest in TechTV and owned Dish Network) retained partial ownership of the combined entity.
The new network leaned more toward the gaming programming that was featured on G4 than the technology side that was featured on TechTV, prompting petitions and complaints from disaffected TechTV fans. On February 15, 2005, TechTV was officially dropped from the network name in the United States, leaving only three TechTV shows, X-Play, Anime Unleashed (removed indefinitely as of March 2006) and The Screen Savers (later rebranded as Attack of the Show!). The network is currently called G4, and now focuses on general male interest programming.
G4 Media used to hold a 33.3% minority interest in G4's Canadian counterpart.
There have been reports of G4TV rebranding itself in Summer 2013 into an upscale men's channel previous to the recent programming changes. It was announced on December 7, 2012 that G4 will in fact be rebranded as the Esquire Network (previously Esquire Channel) after NBCUniversal closed a deal with Hearst Corporation (the owner of Esquire). Any and all in-house productions for the G4 network have ended as of January 23, with the exception of American Ninja Warrior in the summer of 2013 after the pushback of the Esquire Network launch to September 23, 2013. In a surprising turn of events, NBCUniversal says that the Style Network is chosen as the new candidate for the relaunch as Esquire Network. One of the factors was likely Style's distribution on DirecTV (which dropped G4 sometime in late 2010), giving Esquire more homes at launch with the Style channel slot. G4 Media, and its main network are expected to "remain as is for the foreseeable future, though it's highly unlikely the company will invest in more original programming."
Dish Network, who's the part owner of G4 Media, has dropped the network from its lineup on November 1, 2013. It is unknown if Dish has sold its remaining share back to Comcast.
Programs Produced by G4 Media
- 2 Months 2 Million (2009)
- American Ninja Warrior (2009-2013, transferred to Esquire Network)
- Arena (2002-2005)
- Attack of the Show (2005-2013)
- Blister (2002-2005)
- Bomb Patrol Afghanistan (2011-2012)
- Campus PD (2009-2012)
- Cheat! (2002-2009)
- Code Monkeys (2007-2008)
- Cinematch (2002-2007)
- Filter (2002-2006)
- G4 Underground (2009)
- G4tv.com (2002-2005)
- Game Makers (2002-2005)
- Hurl! (2008-2009)
- Human Wrecking Balls (2008-2010)
- Icons (2002-2006)
- The International Sexy Ladies Show (2009-2010)
- It's Effin' Science (2010)
- Jump City: Seattle (2011)
- Player$ (2002-2004)
- Portal (2002-2004)
- Pulse (TV series) (2002-2004)
- Proving Ground (2011)
- The Screen Savers (2004-2005, transferred from TechTV)
- Spaceballs: The Animated Series (2008)
- That's Tough (2010)
- Top 100 Video Games of All Time (2012 TV special)
- Web Soup (2009-2011)
- Wired For Sex (2008, transferred from TechTV)
- X-Play (2004-2013, transferred from TechTV)
- Hibberd, James (October 2006). "G4 to move into E!". TV Week. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
- Marechal, A.J. (September 6, 2012). "NBCU eyes upscale makeover for G4". Variety. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
- Andreeva, Nellie (April 15, 2013). "Esquire Network's Launch Pushed To Summer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- Rose, Lacey (December 7, 2012). "NBCUniversal, Hearst Corp. Close Deal to Rebrand G4 as Esquire Channel". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
- Rose, Lacey (September 9, 2013). "NBCU Switch-Up: Esquire Network to Take Over Style, Not G4 (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 3, 2013.