G4 (American TV network)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from G4 (U.S. TV channel))
Jump to navigation Jump to search

G4
G4 current logo.png
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
SloganTV 4 Gamers
(2002–04)
Stay Connected.
(2004–05)
Video Game Television
(2005)
Videogame TV
(2005–06)
TV That’s Plugged In
(2007–12)
The Videogame Station
(pre-launch)
We Never Stopped Playing.
(2020–present)
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Programming
Language(s)English
Ownership
OwnerComcast Spectacor
History
Founded2000
LaunchedApril 24, 2002; 18 years ago (2002-04-24) (original; defunct December 31, 2014 (2014-12-31))
2021; 0 years ago (2021) (relaunch)
FounderCharles Hirschhorn
ReplacedTechTV and G4techTV
Former namesG4techTV (2004–05)
Links
Websitewww.g4tv.com

G4 (also known as G4tv) is an American pay television network owned by G4 Media, a joint venture between the NBCUniversal Cable division of NBCUniversal and Dish Network. The network originally launched on April 24, 2002 and was primarily focused on video games and gaming culture. In the final years since its acquisition by NBCUniversal, the network dropped its sci-fi and fantasy and general entertainment programming in favor of comedy programming aimed at young adult men.

In late 2012, G4's studio programming ceased in preparation for a planned relaunch as Esquire Network, as part of a licensing deal with Hearst Corporation, owner of Esquire magazine. Esquire Network would ultimately replace Style Network instead, on September 23, 2013.[1] G4 announced in November 2014 that it would end all operations;.[2][3][4] The network shuttered on December 31, 2014. By August 2013, it was reported that approximately 61,217,000 American households (53.61% of households with television) were receiving the network.[5]

On July 24, 2020, a revival of the G4 brand was announced. A digital and linear network,[6] G4 is slated to relaunch in the summer of 2021.[7][8]

History[edit]

2002-2010[edit]

The first G4 logo, used from 2002 to 2005

G4 was launched on April 24, 2002, under the ownership of Comcast.[9] The initial concept was to create a service similar to rival TechTV but "geared more toward MTV's demographics" (young adults). The channel was soft launched with a nonstop Pong marathon for a whole week.

G4 was created and originally led by Charles Hirschhorn, a former president of Walt Disney Television and Television Animation.[10] He expected video game creators themselves to eventually produce programming for the channel. He envisioned that G4 could follow in the footsteps of MTV, which provided music video producers with a venue for non-traditional television programming.[11] Hirschhorn intended G4 to become a vehicle for unconventional advertising. In 2002, G4 offered advertisers wide latitude to place their products on G4's programs, and even allowed their commercials to appear as if they were a part of the program.[12] G4 offered what was called a "2 minute unit", which was an advertising package played as if it were part of a G4 program that was long enough to run an entire movie trailer. G4 offered to sell the right to have a game showcased on the show Pulse.[12]

Merger with TechTV[edit]

Logo used from May 2005 to March 2007. The logo would also be used by G4 Canada until its closure.

On March 25, 2004, Vulcan Inc. announced that G4 Media would acquire TechTV and merge the two networks.[13] The combined network was rebranded as G4techTV. On February 15, 2005, less than a year after the merger, the "TechTV" brand was dropped from the channel's name.[14] A Canadian version of TechTV, originally launched on September 7, 2001,[15] would also be relaunched under the "G4techTV" branding and would retain the brand until 2009.[16][17]

In September 2005, Neal Tiles replaced Hirschhorn as the channel's president.[18] Tiles had previously been a senior marketing executive at DirecTV, Fox Sports and ESPN.[19] He announced that G4 would be retooled as a male-oriented channel, stating that "guys like to play games, but not necessarily watch a bunch of shows with games on the screen".[20]

Comcast announced on October 12, 2006, that it would consolidate its west coast entertainment operations, including G4, E! and Style Network into a new group headed by Ted Harbert, who had formerly run E!. It was announced that the upper management of the G4 channel would relocate to E!'s Los Angeles office.[21] Harbert gave his opinion at the time that the focus of the channel on "gaming has been demonstrated as being too narrow."[22][23]

In April 2007, G4, in association with Earth911,[24] launched an electronic-waste-recycling campaign called Gcycle.[25] After Comcast acquired NBCUniversal in 2011 (effectively integrating NBCUniversal's stake in G4, as well as the other Comcast Entertainment Group channels, into NBCUniversal), Gcycle became part of the company's "Green is Universal" initiative.

On February 17, 2009, it was reported that G4 intended to cut back its original programming. X-Play would be reduced to three nights a week while Attack of the Show! would be cut to four nights a week. Consequently, a number of the staff and production crew involved in the shows would be laid off. Layla Kayleigh also left G4 in April 2009 after Neal Tiles announced that her contract would not be renewed.[26][27]

It was announced during Comic-Con 2010 that G4 would be the exclusive North American broadcaster of Marvel Anime, which made its television debut in 2011.[28] During the week of July 26-August 1, 2010, G4 changed its logo to 4G as a promotion for Sprint Nextel's next generation wireless internet service.[29]

2010-2014[edit]

G4 logo without digital backdrop. Used for almost a year until May 20, 2012. Was also in use on G4's website until it shut down in 2018.

On November 1, 2010, DirecTV announced that it had removed G4 from its channel lineup,[30] citing low interest among their subscriber base and low Nielsen ratings as the primary reason for dropping of the channel.[31][32] DirecTV commented that it was "...unable to reach an agreement to continue carrying the G4 channel and it has been removed from the DirecTV channel lineup."[33]

It was reported that the UFC and WWE were in separate talks to buy G4 in 2011.[34][35] The UFC eventually partnered with Fox, while WWE launched its own network on February 24, 2014.

On January 5, 2012, Neal Tiles stepped down as CEO.[36] He was replaced by former NBCUniversal marketing chief Adam Stotsky.[37] Long-time employee Adam Sessler was let go during the first half of 2012.[38][39] On May 20, 2012, G4 underwent a brand refresh, still utilizing the original version of the current logo, except the bug moved to the bottom right corner instead of the top, and made translucent. The logo was rendered in 3D for on-air promos. This brand refresh removed the "Feed" ticker, and the "G-Spot" shorts shown during commercial breaks. This brand refresh also removed the slogan on this date.

On October 26, 2012, it was announced that X-Play and Attack of the Show! would be cancelled by the end of the year.[40] This would end all of G4's studio programming, leaving it only airing acquired and syndicated programming.

In December 2012, NBCUniversal signed a brand licensing deal with the Hearst Corporation, owner of Esquire magazine, to relaunch G4 into Esquire Network which would air shows aimed at a metrosexual audience about travel, cooking, fashion and non-sports related male programming, including the addition of acquired and archive NBCU content such as Party Down, Parks and Recreation, and week-delayed episodes of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.[41][42][43] The rebranding was scheduled to take place on April 22, 2013,[42] but was moved to an unspecified date in the summer on April 15, 2013. Network general manager Adam Stotsky stated the rebranding was pushed back in order to have a broader original series slate to launch with than would have been available for the April launch. Stotsky confirmed that a new season of American Ninja Warrior would air on the network in the summer.[43] In May 2013, the launch date was pushed to September 23, 2013, with its first program being an 80th anniversary special for Esquire.[44]

Most of its general entertainment programming, such as Attack of the Show! and X-Play were moved to sister channels Bravo and CNBC respectively. At the same time, the reruns of G-Spot shorts were transitioned to music programming during the morning hours. Also, the network was relaunched with a new look, consisting a print version of the current G4 logo from 2007, and a new on-air presentation.

On September 9, 2013, news broke that NBCUniversal would replace Style with Esquire Network, leaving G4 "as is for the foreseeable future, though it's highly unlikely the company will invest in more original programming".[1] On September 23, 2013, G4 was dropped by Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks (Bright House carriage contracts were negotiated by Time Warner Cable), citing the network's low viewership as "(not a) good value for our customers".[45] Verizon FiOS discontinued the channel on October 1, 2013, and Cablevision did so on October 10, 2013, pursuant to a filing with the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control (that state's utility service regulator) a month prior, that NBCUniversal had plans to discontinue G4's operations as of the October 10 date, though only the discontinuation of carriage by Cablevision occurred.[46]

Late in October 2013, Charter Communications, which was one of the charter carriers of TechTV when it was a sister of that network under the ownership of Vulcan Ventures, announced its intention to drop G4 on December 17; sister network Cloo replaced G4 on its systems.[47] On November 1, 2013, Dish Network removed it from the lineup with Esquire Network replacing G4,[48] ending all carriage of the network from direct broadcast satellite services. Cox ceased carriage of G4 in all markets on December 31, 2013.[49]

Comcast removed G4 from all its cable and satellite systems nationwide on January 6, 2014; the network continued to be carried on other cable systems.[50][51]

Certain cable operators reported that the network would end all on-air operations on November 30, 2014,[2][3][4] and the aforementioned providers continued airing the network until the alleged cutoff date (or when their contracts with G4 were fully exhausted), ending all carriage of the network from cable providers and cable television services.[52]

A note on the G4 website's program schedule was added to that particular episode saying "Thanks for watching G4."[53] The network would cease broadcasting with a game of Pong on the screen, referencing the network's launch, gradually getting smaller and smaller before becoming just a small dot, followed by the sound of the San Diego Comic-Con attendee Ramses[54] to Kevin Pereira shouting "I'm at Comic-Con!!!",[55] (possibly alluding to G4 dying and going to Comic-Con, occasionally nicknamed "nerd heaven"), as the dot shut off like an analog TV alongside the Atari 2600 version of Donkey Kong's death bloops and the Game Boy start-up chime, thus symbolically ending the network with a "game over". After a few seconds, the provider's automated "network is no longer carried" card was automatically placed on-screen, after which the channel spaces created by TechTV in 1998 and G4 in 2002 mostly ceased to exist, ending the TechTV and (temporarily) G4 legacies.[56] Several days after G4 signed off, some cable providers replaced G4's slot entirely with other offerings including, but not limited to Chiller, Cloo, Pivot, and Al Jazeera America. All these channels have all since ceased operations as well.

Revival[edit]

On July 24, 2020, the Twitter accounts of G4, Attack of the Show! and X-Play were reactivated to post a teaser video announcing a revival of the network slated for 2021. The teaser was released during "Comic-Con@Home", the first virtual streaming edition of the San Diego Comic-Con. G4's website was reopened with a playable game of Pong which, if won, redirected to a mailing list to sign up for updates. The campaign was in-reference to the network's original launch in 2002 and their shutdown in 2014.[57][58]

On August 12, 2020, Olivia Munn, the former co-host of Attack of the Show!, was reportedly in final talks for a multi-year deal with G4.[59]

On September 4, 2020, the official G4 YouTube channel uploaded a video featuring former X-Play host Adam Sessler as one of his fictional characters, Crazy Adam, asking for fans to submit applications to become a G4 host or simply nominate their favorite personalities with the hashtag, #G4NeedsTalent.[60]

On November 16, 2020, G4 announced A Very Special G4 Holiday Reunion Special, a scripted special hosted by Ron Funches and featuring the network's former personalities and hosts. The special premiered on November 24 on Twitch and YouTube; Syfy would also air the special on November 27.[61] During the special, wrestler Xavier Woods would be the first newly announced host for G4's relaunch, after beginning a campaign on Twitter to become a G4 personality in August 2020.[62][63] On the same day of the special's premiere, G4 launched Gravython, a charity drive that would be raising funds for a variety of community partners.[64]

On January 28, 2021, G4 announced that the shows Attack of the Show! and X-Play were returning for the revival due to high demands from fans. They also announced that the release for the revival would be sometime in summer 2021.[8]

On February 5th, 2021, G4 announced Indiana "Froskurinn" Black and Ovilee May of League of Legends e-sports casting fame would be hosts on their upcoming show, "The ___ Esports Show".[65] On February 12, 2021, It was announced that Adam Sessler and Kevin Pereira would return to G4 for X-Play and Attack of the Show! respectively.[66]

On April 14th, 2021, it was announced that Ninja Warrior, an English version of the Japanese show SASUKE, would be returning to the platform with 3 new tournaments and a total of 167 episodes on G4 in 2021. [67]

Programming[edit]

Though primarily dedicated to video game culture, G4's programming later expanded to encompass sci-fi and fantasy-genre shows and unrelated, general entertainment programming aimed at young adult men, and later, syndicated programming in form of comedy.

The network's website featured video game trailers and reviews, select video clips of its original shows, and web original programming. The website continued providing entertainment-related news articles until May 31, 2013,[68] with the last article posted on G4's website as a replacement for the site's schedule section, was a notice stating that "NBCUniversal has discontinued all operations for G4" seven days after the network left the air.[69]

G4's website was relaunched on July 24, 2020, coinciding with the announcement of the revival.

Notable hosts/correspondents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rose, Lacey (September 9, 2013). "NBCU Switch-Up: Esquire Network to Take Over Style, Not G4 (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "G4 to be Discontinued". GBT. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "G4 Channel Will Cease Airing on November 30, 2014" (PDF). Union Information Systems, Plainfield, Wisconsin (Press release). November 5, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Saying Goodbye to G4". Great Plains Communications, Blair, Nebraska (Press release). November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  5. ^ Seidman, Robert (August 23, 2013). "List of How Many Homes Each Cable Networks Is In - Cable Network Coverage Estimates As Of August 2013". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on August 25, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  6. ^ Stedman, Alex (November 26, 2020). "G4's New Host Xavier Woods on the Network's Revival: 'This Is the Gaming Culture'". Variety. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  7. ^ Spangler, Todd (July 24, 2020). "Long-Dormant Gaming Network G4 TV Teases 2021 Relaunch by Comcast Spectacor". Variety. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "G4TV on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  9. ^ Sieberg, Daniel (April 24, 2002). "24-Hour Video Game Channel Set to Launch". CNN. Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  10. ^ "Charles Hirschhorn profile". Forbes. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  11. ^ Richey, Joshua (October 17, 2006). "Pressing Buttons 10.17.06: The Rise and Fall of G4 (Part 1)". 411Mania. Archived from the original on November 6, 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Williamson, Debra (June 10, 2002). "G4 widens playing field for advertisers". Ad Age. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  13. ^ Fosy, Dan (March 26, 2004). "Comcast buys TechTV: Cable giant to fold channel from S.F. into video game unit". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  14. ^ Finkle, Jim (January 10, 2005). "G4 Drops TechTV Handle". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  15. ^ Decision CRTC 2000-454; CRTC; 2000-12-14
  16. ^ Comcast: TechTV + G4 = G4TechTV; Multichannel News; 2004-05-10
  17. ^ Tech TV Canada gets a new name and new programming Archived 2007-10-28 at the Wayback Machine Channel Canada; 2004-05-17
  18. ^ "G4 - About - Management - Neal Tiles - President". G4TV. Archived from the original on August 11, 2011. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
  19. ^ "Neal Tiles bio". G4TV. Archived from the original on August 11, 2011. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
  20. ^ Martin, Denise (May 8, 2006). "Cablers Make Play for Gamer Demos — G4 Evolving into a Lifestyle Channel, Peppered with Vidgame Culture". Variety. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  21. ^ "Comcast Broadens Harbert's Role". Broadcasting & Cable. October 12, 2006. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  22. ^ "E! pwns G4". Boing Boing. October 12, 2006. Archived from the original on May 16, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  23. ^ "G4 Not Getting Axed". Voodoo Extreme. October 16, 2006. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  24. ^ "Earth911.com".
  25. ^ Wilson, Mark (April 22, 2007). "Earth Day Roundup: Not Lame, We Promise". Gizmodo. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  26. ^ "G4's Open Source". G4TV.com. Archived from the original on March 25, 2008. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  27. ^ "G4's "X-Play", "Attack of the Show" Cut Back". Variety. February 17, 2009. Archived from the original on February 19, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  28. ^ D'Alonzo, Mike (July 24, 2010). "New Marvel Anime Iron Man Poster". G4TV.com. Archived from the original on January 12, 2013. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
  29. ^ Stelter, Brian (July 21, 2010). "G4 Channel to Become 4G in a Week of Sprint Promotion". The New York Times. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  30. ^ Schneider, Michael (October 31, 2010). "DirecTV Pulls G4 from Lineup". Variety. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  31. ^ Lyons, Margaret (November 1, 2010). "DirecTV drops G4". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  32. ^ Powers, Lindsay (November 1, 2010). "DirecTV Drops Comcast's G4". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  33. ^ "DirecTV G4 statement". Support.DirecTV.com. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
  34. ^ "Reports: UFC, NBCUniversal discuss G4". ESPN. June 9, 2011.
  35. ^ "G4 to be re-branded after NBCU turns down WWE & UFC take-over bids". Pro Wrestling Torch. February 11, 2013.
  36. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 5, 2012). "G4 President Neal Tiles Steps Down". Deadline. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  37. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 5, 2012). "Former NBC Marketing Chief Adam Stotsky Named General Manager Of G4". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  38. ^ Sessler, Adam (May 23, 2014). "Memories Of My 16-Year Career In Video Games". Kotaku. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  39. ^ Schreler, Jason (March 20, 2013). "Internet Killed The Video Star: The Extraordinary Journey Of Adam Sessler". Kotaku. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  40. ^ Schneider, Michael (October 26, 2012). "Exclusive: G4 to End Attack of the Show and X-Play". TV Guide Magazine. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  41. ^ Rose, Lacey (December 7, 2012). "NBCUniversal, Hearst Corp. Close Deal to Rebrand G4 as Esquire Channel". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
  42. ^ a b G4 Staff (February 11, 2013). "G4 To Be Rebranded As The Esquire Network On April 22nd". G4TV.com. Archived from the original on November 26, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  43. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (April 15, 2013). "Esquire Network's Launch Pushed To Summer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
  44. ^ Bibel, Sara (May 29, 2013). "Esquire Network to Debut September 23; Primetime Kicks Off With Special Celebrating Esquire Magazine's 80th Anniversary". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  45. ^ Time Warner Cable (September 23, 2013). "Facebook answer to question about removal of G4 from systems". Facebook. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  46. ^ Young, Jennifer (September 10, 2013). "Re: Programming Change" (PDF). Cablevision letter to Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
  47. ^ "Channel Lineup Changes - Charter Communications". Charter Communications. Archived from the original on September 27, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  48. ^ "Facebook answer to customer's post about removal of G4 from systems". Facebook. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  49. ^ "Residential TV Support". Cox.com. Archived from the original on December 9, 2014. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  50. ^ "Confirmed: Comcast Ceasing G4 Distribution In January". G4 Rewind. Archived from the original on October 15, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  51. ^ "Upcoming Contract Renewals". Retrieved October 13, 2013.
  52. ^ Schneider, Michael (December 12, 2013). "The End is Near (More or Less) for Zombie Channels Like SoapNet and G4". TV Guide. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  53. ^ "G4TV Schedule". G4TV.com. Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  54. ^ "https://twitter.com/el_ramses/status/1287188893360517120". Twitter. Retrieved July 29, 2020. External link in |title= (help)
  55. ^ "I'm at Comic-Con!!!". YouTube. August 23, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  56. ^ "G4TV Goes Off The Air (12-31-14)". YouTube. December 31, 2014. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  57. ^ @G4TV (July 24, 2020). "We never stopped playing" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  58. ^ Patten, Dominic (July 24, 2020). "Game On! G4 TV Poised For 2021 Reboot; Video Game Network Unplugged In 2014". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  59. ^ Aguilar, Matthew (August 12, 2020). "Olivia Munn Reportedly in Final Talks to Return to G4 TV". Comic Book. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  60. ^ Flook, Ray (September 4, 2020). "X-Play Co-Host "Crazy Adam" Sessler Wants YOU for the New G4". bleedingcool.com. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  61. ^ Flook, Ray (November 16, 2020). "G4 Holiday Reunion Special Set: Munn, Pereira, Sessler, Webb & More". bleedingcool.com. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  62. ^ "WWE's Xavier Woods Launches Campaign to Land G4 Hosting Gig". CBR. July 27, 2020. Retrieved September 21, 2020.
  63. ^ "G4TV on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  64. ^ "G4TV Reunion Special is Committed to Advancing the Next Generation of Creators". Game Rant. November 21, 2020. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  65. ^ https://twitter.com/G4TV/status/1357811343013933063
  66. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIVCLOR62n4
  67. ^ https://g4tv.com/the-original-ninja-warrior-returns-to-g4
  68. ^ "The Feed". G4TV.com. May 31, 2013. Archived from the original on January 25, 2016. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  69. ^ "G4 2015". G4TV.com. Archived from the original on January 8, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2016.

External links[edit]