G4 (Canada)

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G4
G4Canada.svg
G4 Canada logo
Launched September 7, 2001 (2001-09-07)
Owned by Rogers Media
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Country Canada
Broadcast area National
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Formerly called TechTV
(2001 (2001)–2004 (2004))
G4techTV
(2004 (2004)–2009 (2009))
Website www.g4tv.ca
Availability
Satellite
Bell TV Channel 515
Shaw Direct Channel 514
Cable
Available on many Canadian cable systems Check local listings, channels may vary
IPTV
FibreOP Channel 229
Bell Fibe TV Channel 515
MTS Channel 281
Optik TV Channel 204
SaskTel Channel 56

G4 is a Canadian English language Category A specialty channel owned by Rogers Media. The name is licensed from NBCUniversal, whose parent company formerly owned a minority stake in the channel.

G4 is a lifestyle network that broadcasts programming related to technology.[1]

History[edit]

On November 24, 2000, through a joint venture, Rogers Media (33.34%), Shaw Communications (33.33%) and TechTV US (33.33%) were granted approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to launch a Canadian version of the US television channel TechTV, a service described by its nature of service as "providing programming about computing, technology and the Internet."[2] The channel launched on September 7, 2001 as the Canadian version of TechTV.

After months of speculation, on March 25, 2004, Comcast announced it would acquire TechTV US from Vulcan Programming Inc., with plans to merge TechTV with its own gaming-related channel, G4.[3] As part of the purchase, Comcast acquired TechTV's 33.33% interest in the Canadian TechTV, spinning it off into its subsidiary G4 Media. The transaction was completed on May 10, and the American services were merged into G4techTV on May 28, 2004.[4] TechTV Canada would follow suit and be renamed G4techTV on the same date.[5] On February 15, 2005, less than a year after the merger, the American G4techTV was renamed back to G4. In June 2006, Shaw Communications sold its interest in the channel to the managing partner, Rogers Media. At an unknown date, Comcast also sold its interest to Rogers, giving it full ownership.[6]

As the channel's name changed from TechTV to G4techTV, so did the channel's programming. Much like the American service, G4techTV Canada would acquire a mixture of the former TechTV and G4 programs, of which a number of those would be the younger-skewing gaming-related series such as Arena and Cinematech from the latter channel. In 2006, the CRTC granted a license amendment allowing G4techTV Canada to broadcast drama and comedy programs, including animated series such as anime.[7] Less than two months later, G4techTV Canada introduced Anime Current, a programming block consisting of anime series. It was the channel's first venture into the airing of scripted series. Later, in 2007, G4techTV Canada would begin to introduce more scripted series including Code Monkeys and The IT Crowd.

G4, 2009-present[edit]

In June 2009, G4techTV was renamed G4. However, the former brand was not completely phased out from station branding until late 2010.

This marked the shift towards a more entertainment-based schedule with less emphasis on technology, similar to its American counterpart, instead focusing primarily on gaming and other general entertainment geared towards a younger audience. Much of the technology-based programming was removed or scheduled during off-peak hours. New programming introduced included Adult Digital Distraction (ADd), a programming block consisting of comedy and animated series, many of which were non-technology based and sourced from the American cable channel, Adult Swim. Along with ADd, the channel would later add outdoor adventure programming, which come from other Rogers-owned channels, mainly from OLN, City and Omni, including Angry Planet and Mantracker in the fall of that year. Many notable programs from its American counterpart aired on a daily basis such as X-Play, Attack of the Show, and newer series such as That's Tough, Web Soup, Campus PD, and Proving Ground.

In the fall of 2011, all references to ADd was removed from the channel's website, however, the block remained on-air. As well, a vast majority of the programs included in the programming block were removed from the schedule. This move was likely due to pressure from the CRTC during the channel's licence renewal in July 2011; referencing G4's divestiture from its original nature of service as a channel devoted to technology, the CRTC stated that G4's "programming is not in compliance with its nature of service definition" and that it detail measures "to ensure that the service is in compliance with its nature of service."[8] Several Adult Swim programs made a return to the schedule in 2012 including Eagleheart, Squidbillies, and NTSF:SD:SUV::; they have since been removed from the schedule.

The American version was scheduled to be rebranded as Esquire Network in 2013, but its parent company decided to rebrand Style Network instead. With the drawing down of its American counterpart due to low ratings, the fate of this network under the G4 name is unknown.[9] Indeed, much like the American network, G4's presence on Rogers Media's press sites has diminished greatly since 2013.[10]

Programming[edit]

Originally, when the channel launched in 2001 as TechTV, it consisted solely of technology and gaming related programming - mainly originating from its American counterpart - along with Canadian programming. Such programming included Call for Help, The Screen Savers and TechLive.

Currently, G4 shows entertainment and tech-related programming such as Reviews on the Run and EP Daily along with various syndicated shows. For CanCon reasons, extremely dated content airs on a daily basis.

Distribution[edit]

As a category 1 television service, it is mandatory for all digital cable and direct broadcast satellite providers in Canada that have the capacity to do so to carry the channel in markets where English is the majority language.

G4, under the name G4techTV, was broadcast internationally in the Barbados market. The government-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation in Barbados switched from providing the American-based feed, in favour of the Canadian channel for its cable television network known as Multi-Choice TV. For unknown reasons, the channel has since been removed.

Logos[edit]

TTV.png G4techTV logo.svg G4techTV Canada logo.svg G4Canada.svg
2001–2004 2004–2005 2005–2009 2009–present

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]