EXCLUSIVE: Comcast’s Spectacor division is pulling the plug on video game-centric community G4 TV, whose early incarnation within the 2000s stays a cultural touchstone for a lot of millennials, only a yr after its relaunch.
In a memo set to be despatched out to all staff, Spectacor CEO Dave Scott defined that the corporate’s funding and efforts to revive the community simply didn’t achieve traction.
Just a few dozen staff and contract employees are affected by the shutdown. Comcast stated it’ll help them with outplacement and think about some for inner alternatives.
The departure over the summer of Russell Arons, an skilled digital media exec who had come aboard as G4’s president in 2021, was a precursor to at present’s information. Her duties had been added to the portfolio of Joe Marsh, a Comcast Spectacor vet who has been CEO of T1, a world esports three way partnership with Korea’s SK Telecom.
The present iteration of G4 is smaller and fewer centered on conventional linear TV than was its predecessor. It has introduced a programming slate together with a revived model of authentic G4 mainstays Attack of the Show! and Xplay, plus comedy Boosted, Japanese competitors collection Ninja Warrior, esports competitions and Dungeons & Dragons restricted collection.
Along with placing content material on YouTube and social media, G4 has a multi-year settlement with Twitch and pay-TV distribution offers with Verizon FiOS, Cox, Xfinity TV and Philo.
Several media and tech ventures centered on the gamer neighborhood have hit turbulence just lately, with Facebook shutting down its gaming app and Google winding down gaming service Stadia. VENN, a start-up billed because the “MTV of video games,” additionally simply went bust.
G4’s preliminary run started in 2002 below co-owners NBCUniversal and Dish Network. The community was created by former Disney TV exec Charles Hirschhorn, who noticed it as a successor to MTV in its potential to faucet into youth tradition. Various notable personalities appeared as hosts on G4 in its early run, amongst them Olivia Munn, Chris Hardwick, Kevin Pereira and Grace Helbig.
After it went darkish in 2014, G4’s place on the dial was taken over by the Esquire Network, which might show to be a short-lived branding train. Amid a groundswell of enthusiasm on social media, new proprietor Comcast Spectacor revealed plans at Comic-Con’s digital 2020 version for the community’s return.
Spectacor’s major enterprise focus is on sports activities and stay occasions, with the division proudly owning the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers in addition to their house area, the Wells Fargo Center, together with quite a few different belongings. The outcomes of G4 had been by no means notably materials to Spectacor, however the division has avidly pursed esports, making the G4 revival a logical factor to aim.
Here is Scott’s full memo, which Deadline obtained from a supply:
As you recognize, G4 was re-introduced final yr to faucet into the recognition of
gaming. We invested to create the brand new G4 as a web-based and TV vacation spot for followers
to be entertained, be impressed, and join with gaming content material.
Over the previous a number of months, we labored onerous to generate that curiosity in G4, however
viewership is low and the community has not achieved sustainable monetary
outcomes. This is actually not what we hoped for, and, consequently, now we have made the
very troublesome choice to discontinue G4’s operations, efficient instantly.
I do know that is disappointing information, and I’m dissatisfied, too. I need to thanks
and everybody on the G4 workforce for the onerous work and dedication to the community.
Our human sources workforce is reaching out to you to give you help,
focus on different alternatives that could be obtainable, and reply any questions you
Thank you once more for your whole onerous work for G4.
Chairman and CEO