There was a point where the cable network G4 was a major cornerstone of the video game world; it was also a point where cable was a cornerstone of television. Obviously, both those things changed and G4 programming was canceled back in 2014 as gamers started just watching each other play games and turning to incredibly good-looking and intelligent online writers for their gaming news. Then Comcast’s Spectacor relaunched the brand in full in November 2021, attempting to bring back the channel not only as a cable network but as an online gaming destination. They failed, and it only took a year. In a memo, Spectacor CEO Dave Scott announced the shutdown of G4, the channel that is now dead again.
G4 has been scrapped entirely with all shows canceled and the station shuttered. Scott said that the station never created any traction and wasn’t worth the money, which is probably very true considering many readers reading this probably just found out G4 was back. (Content creators were reportedly charging $25,000 – $30,000 per day to appear, which suggests a flawed financial model.) The station wasn’t a huge operation yet, but a few dozen employees and contractors will be losing their jobs, though Comcast says they’ll help them find new ones. Classic rebooted shows like Attack of the Show!, Xplay, and Boosted will all go the way of the dodo as well. Despite not being solely a cable station, it looks like the station won’t survive online either.
Below is a relevant excerpt from the Scott memo about the shutdown of G4:
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. 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.
The main driver of G4 for Spectator was probably going to be esports as they become more and more popular. However, the channel never became a known home for any competitions or news despite partnerships with Twitch. The problem was while G4 is a much-beloved brand for Millennials who tuned in to watch Olivia Munn present trailers because YouTube wasn’t the total host of the internet’s video content yet, that wasn’t the target audience for this new G4. They seemingly wanted the coveted 18-34 range, and many of the people in that range barely remember G4 — and many hardly know what cable is. Anyway, now you can go back to not watching G4, because it’s dead, again.