It appears to be game over — for good this time — for G4 TV.
Comcast Spectacor, the sports and esports division of Comcast, said it's shutting down the gaming-focused linear network, effective immediately, 11 months after launching a reboot. Forty-five jobs will reportedly be eliminated.
“Over the past several months, we worked hard to generate interest in G4, but viewership is low and the network has not achieved sustainable financial results,” Comcast Spectacor chairman and CEO Dave Scott wrote in a Sunday memo. “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.”
G4 was originally launched in 2002 as a joint venture between NBCUniversal and Dish Network. Distribution had grown to more than 61 million pay TV subscribers by 2013, when G4 was rebranded as the Esquire Network amid a licensing deal with Hearst Corp., owner of Esquire magazine.
G4 was re-introduced as an IP channel in July 2020, available on YouTube and social media. And last November, Comcast Spectator relaunched it as a linear channel on Xfinity TV, Verizon Fios, Cox Communications and Philo. The network also had a multi-year agreement with Twitch. Programming included the long-running Attack of the Show! and XPlay, as well as a series based on the venerable role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons.
“As you know, G4 was reintroduced last year to tap into the popularity of gaming. We invested to create the new G4 as an online and TV destination for fans to be entertained, be inspired, and connect with gaming content,” Scott added. “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.” ▪️
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!