Comcast Ends TV Network Revival After Less Than a Year

The G4 TV relaunch is over. Comcast's Spectacor division has shut down its attempt to revive the popular cable network, which focused on video games and was beloved by millennials. The revived G4 launched on Nov. 16, 2021, over seven years after the original G4 shut down.

Spectacor CEO Dave Scott shared the news in a memo to staff on Sunday, reports Deadline. A few dozen employees and contract workers will be affected by the shutdown, although Comcast said it will help them find new positions. Some could be placed in other roles within Comcast.

"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," Scott wrote in the memo obtained by Deadline. "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."

Spectacor announced plans to revive G4 in July 2020, during the virtual San Diego Comic-Con that year. While the announcement gained plenty of attention, nothing the new network did helped keep interest alive. Over the summer, Russell Arons, a digital media executive who served as the network's president, left. Joe Marsh, a Spectator veteran who was also CEO of T1, then oversaw G4 until today's news.

The new G4 included the return of Attack of the Show! and Xplay, two holdovers from the original network. The lineup also featured the comedy Boosted, the Japanese competition series Ninja Warrior, and esports competitions. Dungeons & Dragons Presents: Invitation to Party, a limited series featuring "actual play" of a D&D game, was also a major part of the new G4. Spectacor also signed multi-year deals to bring G4-branded content to Twitch and had pay-TV distribution pacts with Cox, Xfinity TV, Philio, and Verizon FiOS.

0comments

G4 launched in 2002 and was co-owned by NBCUniversal and Dish Network. It was created by former Disney Television executive Charles Hirschhorn, who wanted to create a channel similar to MTV that tapped into the youth culture surrounding video games. In late 2012, all G4 production was shut down, and the lights finally went out on New Year's Eve 2014. The original plan was to replace G4 with the Esquire Network in 2013, but Esquire instead replaced Style Network. (Esquire Network was also a failure and went bust in 2017.)