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

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?

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Source: Variety (via Slashfilm)

tags: G4

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