Video Game-Focused G4 Network Shutdown for Second Time by Comcast
The original G4 network debuted on cable in 2002 and had about a decade-long run as a culturally significant outlet that brought gaming-related content to a mainstream audience. It featured, among other series, “Attack of the Show!,” and was known for broadcasting live each year from the E3 gaming expo. “American Ninja Warrior” also got its start as a G4 show, before later shifting to NBC. Personalities such as Chris Hardwick and Olivia Munn first became prominent through their work on G4 shows.
However, the network eventually folded in 2014, but in 2020 Comcast announced a revival, and the network returned in late 2021, albeit only on Twitch TV and Philo at first, with Comcast and Verizon Fios deals announced later. The new edition of the network included revived incarnations of “Attack of the Show!” and “XPlay,” G4’s video game review show. It also offered the original Japanese edition of “Ninja Warrior.”
However, the revival appears to have gone south, as on Sunday, Deadline reported that Comcast was ending the channel's return. It’s another example, it appears, of heavy competition in the streaming era, although G4 was a concept that proved not long for the cable era, either.
The Deadline reporting was confirmed in a memo from Dave Scott, the CEO of Comcast Spectacor, the division of the cable giant that supervises its sports properties and oversaw the channel following the departure of Russell Arons last year.
“Over the past several months, we worked hard to generate that interest in G4, but viewership is low and the network has not achieved sustainable financial results,” Scott’s memo said. “This is certainly not what we hoped for, and, as a result, we have made the very difficult decision to discontinue G4’s operations, effective immediately. I know this is disappointing news, and I’m disappointed, too. I want to thank you and everyone on the G4 team for the hard work and commitment to the network.”
While Netflix is investing heavily in adding mobile games to its platform, other major tech and entertainment companies are exiting the video game space. VENN (The Video Game Entertainment & News Network) — which was hoping to be a spiritual successor to G4 — closed last year, Facebook’s gaming app will officially shutdown at the end of the month, and Google’s cloud-based gaming service Stadia will be shut down in January after just over three years on the market.