The relaunch of G4 TV is over. Comcast’s Spectacor division has ended its bid to revive the popular cable network, which focused on video games and was loved by millennials. The revived G4 launched on November 16, 2021, more than seven years after the original G4 was discontinued.
Spectacor CEO Dave Scott shared the news in a memo to staff on Sunday, reports Deadline. A few dozen employees and contractors will be affected by the shutdown, though Comcast said it will help them find new positions. Some could be placed in other roles within Comcast.
“We’ve worked hard over the past several months to generate this interest in G4, but viewership is low and the network has not delivered sustainable financial results,” Scott wrote in the memo obtained by Deadline. “This is certainly not what we had hoped for, and as a result, we have taken the very difficult decision to halt G4 operations, effective immediately. I know this is disappointing news, and I am also disappointed. I want to thank you and everyone on the G4 team for the hard work and commitment to the network.”
Spectacor announced plans to relaunch G4 in July 2020, during the virtual San Diego Comic-Con that year. Although the ad drew a lot of attention, nothing from the new network helped sustain interest. 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 remnants of the original network. The lineup also included the comedy Boosted, the Japanese competition series ninja warriorand esports competitions. Dungeons & Dragons Presents: Party Invitationa limited series featuring the “real game” of a J&D game, was also an important part of the new G4. Spectacor has also signed multi-year deals to bring G4-branded content to Twitch and has pay-TV distribution pacts with Cox, Xfinity TV, Philio, and Verizon FiOS.
G4 was launched in 2002 and was jointly 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 would tap 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 Esquire Network in 2013, but Esquire replaced Style Network instead. (Esquire Network was also a failure and went bankrupt in 2017.)