G4 closes with just 1,000 spectators

The revived gaming channel G4 currently ranks last in cable viewership – Game Over.

G4, Comcast Spectacor’s gaming cable channel, has shut down — again.

Dave Scott, the chairman and CEO of Comcast Spectacor, shared the news with G4 employees in a memo circulated on Sunday. (IndieWire received the notice; it is posted below.) Comcast Spectacor is the sports and entertainment focused subsidiary of Comcast that owns the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and formerly owned the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. 45 G4 employees immediately lost their jobs as a result of the decision.

The shutdown comes almost a year after the station was relaunched last November. The channel’s relaunch – first announced in July 2020 – followed seven years of dormancy for the games channel, which first began in 2002. The early version of the network was operated by G4 Media, a joint venture between Comcast and NBC Universal Cable.

The station dropped original programming in 2012 when NBC Universal signed a deal with Hearst Publishing to relaunch it as the Esquire Network. Ultimately, the Esquire Network replaced the Style Network instead, but no new programming was created for G4 and several cable companies dropped it from their programming. Finally, on New Year’s Eve 2014, the station officially ceased operations.

So what went wrong this time? G4 currently ranks last among the 120+ cable channels in the third quarter ratings. According to Nielsen, it attracts only 1,000 total viewers (on average) during both prime time (8pm-11pm) and daytime (6am-6am). We didn’t leave out a zero: 1,000 viewers.

How bad is that? Black News Channel averages twice as much in prime time; Comedy.TV and beIN Sports average 4x G4’s total prime-time viewership; and beIN Sports en Español is 6x better. From a viewer’s perspective, all of these are still awful – but at least you may have heard of G4.

From a studio in Burbank, California, G4 aired gaming-related programming, with a particular focus on eSports gameplay. Much of the channel’s programming is streamed live on its Twitch and YouTube channels before being edited for linear television. The relaunch brought back two of the network’s signature series: Attack of the Show! (hosted by Kevin Pereira, Austin Creed, Kassem Gharaibeh, Gina Darling, Will Neff and Fiona Nova) and XPlay (hosted by Adam Sessler, Indiana Black, Jirard Khalil and Corey Smallwood). G4 launched the career of Olivia Munn, who was set to return when the channel came back in 2021. She didn’t.

At the end a thousand spectators = game over. Below is the note Scott sent to staff on Sunday.

As you know, G4 was reintroduced last year to capitalize on the popularity of games. We invested to create the new G4 as an online and TV destination for fans to be entertained, inspired and connected to game content.

We’ve been working hard over the past few months to generate this interest in G4, but viewership has been low and the network has not achieved sustainable financial results. This is certainly not what we were hoping for and as such we have made the very difficult decision to cease operations of G4 effective immediately.

I know this is disappointing news and I am disappointed too. I would like to thank you and everyone on the G4 team for your hard work and dedication to the network.

Our human resources team will reach out to assist you, discuss other possible options and answer any questions you may have.

Thank you again for all your hard work for G4.


David Scott
Chairman and CEO
Comcast Spectacor

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/10/g4-canceled-ratings-1234773398/ G4 closes with just 1,000 spectators

Lindsay Lowe

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