R.I.P. G4: NBC to Rebrand Video Game Channel in 2013

Published 2 years ago by

G4 Channel Being Rebranded

By the end of 2013 the TV channel G4 as we currently know it will cease to exist. It’s been a slow whirlwind of developments for the one-time 24/7 video game channel over the past year, and it seems those changes were pushing the channel towards this moment.

First came the untimely departure of Adam Sessler as the host of X-Play, and then Kevin Pereira moving on to pursue other opportunities, and now comes word the channel itself will be rebranding. The focus for this new channel, which may or may not still be called G4, will be on a “modern male” audience.

Variety has the scoop, which claims that G4’s parent company NBC Universal would like to retool the network and give it a more “GQ” appeal. NBC claims they’d like to preserve the channel’s “tech savvy roots” but gear its content towards a higher end market. There’s no definite timeline for the change, but it’s reported to take place some time in 2013.

Over the past couple of years G4 had slowly evolved beyond its original identity, transitioning into a channel filled with content “gamers” might enjoy. After the acquisition of competing network Tech TV, G4 began incorporating shows like Cops, The Man Show, and Cheaters into their schedule, and slowly removing original content like Arena, Cheat, and Filter.

By the time the dust had settled all that was left were a few G4 staples (many of those gone now too) and Attack of the Show. And further adding insult to injury, the only video game-specific program left on the channel was X-Play, a refugee of the Tech TV acquisition not a G4 original.

The network did keep up a major presence at key events like Comic-Con and E3, but was struggling to compete with the Geoff Keighley-hosted GameTrailers TV.

To make a long story short, G4 had already tried to get away from video game content and was focusing on shows that appealed to a 18-24 male audience. After this rebranding the channel won’t necessarily abandon any of its shows — at least not at first — but it will be targeting a more sophisticated male demographic, hence the GQ comparison.

Kevin Pereira and Adam Sessler

It’s a sad but true fact that G4 had slowly been moving away from its initial appeal, but in all honesty it hadn’t been the “video game channel” for quite some time. The departure of major talent like Pereira and Sessler suggested what gamers wanted out of G4 and what would make the channel money weren’t one in the same.

But, like Nintendo Power, there’s a certain fondness held for G4 dating back nearly a decade, and we’re sad to see it go through such a big change.

When was the last time you watched G4 for video game content? Would you be interested in this new, modern male-focused channel?

Follow me on Twitter @ANTaormina

Source: Variety (via Slashfilm)


  • Ehzoterik

    As far as I know, G4 has NEVER lived up to its “gamer TV” description. Every time I’ve flipped to the channel out of idle curiosity, it looked like ManTV to me. Even when they were hosting video game talk shows or spotlights. The female hosts seemed like just some random blonde airhead they picked up off the street for eye candy who could read teleprompters and didn’t really actually know anything about video games at all. Not surprised this is G4s fate. To me, it’s always been that way.

    • yodarlz

      Not really. About 5 years ago it was a Video Game channel, but what youre saying is true, if you are referring to the past 2 or 3 years.

      • Ehzoterik

        Probably what I mean. Can’t honestly remember that far back. Didn’t even have cable 5 years ago, lol! I vaguely remember when the station first came out, though, and it was awesome. Then years later it turned into garbage.

  • Androol

    Well, it’s nice of NBCU to try and make something out of this joke of a TV channel. It’d be nice if they tried to move it back to being more videogame-specific, but whatever. “GQ-reader-oriented” is vague enough that I won’t pass judgment on that yet, but NBC Universal is not exactly known for their ability to properly manage a channel, so I don’t expect to be interested in the result.

  • Jennifer

    My husband and I used to watch AOTS, but haven’t watched regularly (i.e. after ATN) since Sarah Jean Underwood (annoying voice) replaced Olivia Munn… we still watch X-Play regularly (DVR’d and watch the parts we’re interested in… no Halo or God of War, thank you). Sad to see Sessler leave, but I like boy Blair and Morgan Webb. Hubby also watches Lady Blair’s comic recommendations. I like the previews on X-Play and they have helped me decide whether or not to get a game many times. I’ll be sad to see them go, if they do decide to toss them.

    • Rodermus

      Candace Bailey replaced Olivia, not Sarah. I never thought Olivia was that great anyways, but Alison Hailsip would’ve been the better (read more gamer oriented) female co-host choice.

      That said, regarding the larger topic: This sucks. There’s been a noticeable change in AOTS ever since Kevin left. I do like that they’ve decided to tackle more serious stories on the show now, but none of the hosts they’ve tried out have lived up to the gap left by Kevin. I’ve been watching on and off for about five or six years now, so if there isn’t anything left of the old network after this (there’s little enough left already) I know I won’t watch anymore.

  • Edub

    This channel used to be fun when it was dedicated to what it was meant to be…for video games! If you want manTV as they want to call it, we have spike! Now it seems it’s going to be another wanna be channel that is following the MTV trend…you know, MTV used to be dedicated to music, now it has 3 channels and NONE of them have anything to do with music other than the vma show! At the end of the day, it’s sad to see that 1 show has that much impact on 1 channel! Guess its game trailers for me from now on, sessler did!

  • kankan13

    So half the population is female, plenty of females play video games and we’re going to target just 18-24 males? How about target *everyone*? *All age groups* play video games. *Both genders* play video games.

    Then again, it’s not a video game channel anymore. I haven’t watched it since it was TechTV except as background noise because you can clean to “Cops” and not really pay attention to it.

  • Scott

    G4 Being rebranded is stupid……..I say the original Tech TV should be brought back when that happens so gamers and tech nerds will be able to rejoice

  • http://joseywails.bandcamp.com Josey Wails

    I don’t think you understand here, people. I don’t think you’re upset or angry enough — Men in expensive suits have just decided that OUR demographic isn’t important. That we’re not worth putting decent original programming on television. We’re not lucrative enough? We don’t spend enough money? The video game market is probably one of the only markets consistently earning more and more money every financial quarter and yet it’s looked at as an undesirable. We’re all broke and going broker and some twonk thinks we need an ‘upscale men’s channel’? We need a channel dedicated to providing quality entertainment for people… and people like video games.

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  • hellzfireice

    G4 was a lot better when it was Tech TV and was really dedicated to gamers and true tech geeks, not just modern day hipsters.

  • Jances

    Under Charles Hirschhorn G4 The initial concept was to create a service similar to TechTV but “geared more toward MTV’s demographics”. The channel was launched with the following shows:

    Arena,Filter,Blister,Cinematech(one of my favorites),Game On,Pulse,Judgment Day,G4tv.com( its cancellation was unexpected for me and a disgrace)

    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 in his opinion provided music video producers with a venue for non-traditional television programming. 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 allowing their commercials to appear as if they’re a part of the program. G4 also 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 also offered to sell the right to have a game showcased on the show Pulse.(To me this was a brilliant concept however it was poorly executed because of the lack of support from the parent company Comcast and networking between industry insider and the network)
    In September 2005, less than a year after the merger of G4 and Techtv, Neal Tiles replaced Hirschhorn as the channel’s president. Tiles had previously been a senior marketing executive at DirecTV, Fox Sports and ESPN. 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.” (If that was the case, than why on YouTube there is thousand of hours of user video captured gameplaye footage ranking a close to a million views? This was the exact moment that G4 was doom to fail as the head honchos hired an idiot who knew nothing about the gaming industry) reruns of cops and star trek. Cancellation of great gaming shows in for crappy japanese import gaming shows. It was unbelievably how comcast was so impatient there sold out on the prime contact for what there believe was easy and fast profit. Neal Tiles destroy G4 and Comcast knew it. It a shame as it had potential to be profitable and establish new avenue of gameing networking and content.