G4 (TV channel)

G4 (TV channel)

Infobox_TV_channel
name= G4
logofile=G4.svg
logoalt=G4
logosize=100px
launch=April 24, 2002 [http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA210965.html?display=Search+Results&text=G4 G4 Aims Originals at Video Game Fans - 4/15/2002 - Multichannel News ] ]
picture format=480i (SDTV)
owner= G4 Media (Comcast)
former names= G4techTV
sister names=G4techTV Canada, E!, Style Network
slogans= TV 4 Gamers, VideoGame TV, TV That's Plugged In
web= [http://www.g4tv.com www.g4tv.com]
terr avail=Not Available
sat serv 1=DirecTV
sat chan 1=Channel 354
Channel 1354 (VOD)
sat serv 2=Dish Network
sat chan 2=Channel 191
cable serv 1 = Insight
cable chan 1 = Channel 61
cable serv 2 = Available on many cable systems
cable chan 2 = Check local listings for channels
dummy parameter=
|

G4 is an American cable and satellite television channel originally geared toward male viewers aged 12–34, devoted to the world of video games. More recently, the channel has diverted its focus to general interest programming that targets male viewers aged 17–36. G4 launched on April 24, 2002. It is headquartered in Los Angeles, California and owned by G4 Media (which, in turn, is owned primarily by Comcast). G4 is available in 62 million cable and satellite homes in the United States. [ [http://www.g4tv.com/g4/about/index.html G4 - About ] ]

The name "G4" originally stood for the four generations of video games (text, sprites, polygons and textures). It now stands for Games, Gear, Gadgets and Gigabytes.

History

Early days

G4 was and Insight Communications in 2002. The initial concept was to create a service similar to TechTV but "geared more toward MTV's demographics". The network was launched with 13 original series.The launch shows consisted of "Arena" (a digital sports-highlight game show), "Filter" (a Top-Ten countdown voted by viewers), "Blister" (focused on action/adventure game news), "Cinematech" (described as a showcase for the best high-end digital art), "Sweat" (focused on sports game news). "Cheat!" (tips on games), "Portal" (focused on multiplayer online games), "Pulse" (news on the gaming industry), "Judgment Day" (currently known as "Reviews on the Run", "two video-game gurus will opine on the latest entries") and "G4tv.com" (an interactive talk show on video games). Building on the theme of the channel, shows such as Players and Icons were added. Players focused mainly on celebrities' choices on video games, consoles, and showing off their custom personal computers. Icons focused mainly on developers, gaming publishers, and famous franchises in the industry such as Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Everquest, Valve Software, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Will Wright. To further reinforce the gaming culture and community, reruns of an arcade based game show from the 1980s known as "Starcade" were included in the daily rotation.G4 was originally led by Charles Hirschhorn, a former president of Walt Disney Television and Television Animation. He expected video game creators themselves to eventually produce programming for the network. 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. [Richey, Joshua. [http://www.411mania.com/games/columns/46470/Pressing-Buttons-10.17.06:-The-Rise-and-Fall-of-G4-%5BPART-1%5D.htm The Rise and Fall of G4 (Part 1)] . 411mania.com: October 17, 2006.]

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." [http://www.democraticmedia.org/news/marketwatch/ComcastAds.html] ] 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".


=TechTV merger= On March 25, 2004, Vulcan Inc. (formally Vulcan Ventures) sold TechTV to G4 Media (owned primarily by Comcast), which then merged both channels to soon become G4TechTV. The original TechTV production facilities located in San Francisco, CA would be closed and the new network would be located in Los Angeles, CA. Charles Hirschhorn of G4 was put in charge of the combined entity.

Reaction to this news left many fans of both channels strong feelings of displeasure and hostility, seeing the removal of almost all the original shows from both G4 and predominantly TechTV, and the immediate firing of many employees (including the spontaneous termination of most/all original TechTV employees and hosts). The relocation of a technology/video gaming network away from the San Francisco area (where a large portion of game/tech development takes place; also see Silicon Valley) also seemed very foolish to many.

On February 15, 2005, less than a year after the merger, TechTV was officially dropped from the channel's name in the U.S. completely, and is now known only as "G4". However, on the network's affiliate in Canada, the TechTV name still remains strong (along with some original TechTV programming and more), and the channel is also still known as G4techTV Canada.

Format

On September 19, 2005, it was reported by TVweek.com [ [http://www.tvweek.com/article.cms?articleId=28725 TVWeek - Special Reports - Print Edition ] ] that former DirecTV executive Neal Tiles [ [http://www.g4tv.com/g4/about/management/NealTiles.html G4 - About - Management - Neal Tiles - President] ] had replaced G4 founder Charles Hirschhorn as the channel's CEO. Also reported was a managerial decision to decrease G4's emphasis on video game coverage, in favor of a shift toward a male general interest programming format, reminiscent of Spike. The programming format mostly consists of syndicated material.

Its website address in lieu of the slogan "Videogame TV" was introduced and gradually replaced the existing logo over the next few months.

Variety.com reported, "Now, under the aegis of Comcast and new president Neal Tiles, G4 is evolving into a lifestyle channel, peppered with videogame culture, as opposed to wall-to-wall games."

"We're going through a change. Guys like to play games, but not necessarily watch a bunch of shows with games on the screen," Tiles says. "So what we're doing now is expanding G4 from a network solely defined by videogames to one inspired by them." [ [http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117942794?categoryid=2223&cs=1&query=g4&display=g4 Cablers make play for gamer demos - Entertainment News, The Games Issue, Media - Variety ] ]

In addition to its programming, G4, along with Earth911 recently launched an electronic waste recycling campaign called Gcycle. [ [http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/earth-day-roundup-not-lame-we-promise-254325.php Earth Day Roundup: Not Lame, We Promise ] ]

As of June 2, 2008, G4 has started "G4 Rewind". This segment shows older episodes of "X-Play", "Judgment Day", "Cheat", "G4tv.com", "Arena", "Portal", "G4's Training Camp" and "GameMakers". The first week showed promising ratings.

Consolidation

Comcast, the parent company of both G4 and E! television channels, announced on October 12, 2006, that it would consolidate its west coast entertainment operations, including G4, E! and Style into a new group headed by the person who had formerly run the E! Network. It was announced that the upper management of the G4 network would relocate to the E! Network's LA office and that there would likely eventually be layoffs within the management of G4 as operations were consolidated. Ted Harbert, the CEO of the newly-created Comcast Entertainment Group, also said that in the long run the organization would look at colocating G4's television production facilities with those of E! to further cut costs. Harbert gave his opinion that the focus of the channel on "gaming has been demonstrated as being too narrow." He also gave assurances that while G4 might change, it would not become extinct. [ [http://www.boingboing.net/2006/10/12/e_pwns_g4.html E! pwns G4 - Boing Boing ] ] [ [http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=10889 News - TVWeek ] ] [ [http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/739/739218p1.html G4 Not Getting Axed - Voodoo Extreme ] ]

Design Studios Onesize and yU+Co have teamed up to rebrand the G4 network. [ [http://www.broadcastnewsroom.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=154600 Design Studios Onesize and yU+Co Team Up To Rebrand G4 Network] , "Broadcast Newsroom", June 20, 2007]

Criticism

G4 has since its beginnings been involved in relationships with advertisers and sponsors which some have found questionable. G4 has, in the past, boasted about its willingness to go beyond the traditional limits of advertising on the network. The willingness of the network to sell advertisements inside of program content as well as efforts in the past to sell coverage of products on shows to companies raises questions about the business ethics of product promotion within G4 program content.

The numerous changes to the network's programming also brought on a storm of criticism from longtime TechTV/G4 fans across the internet, many claiming that the channel has strayed too far from its gaming and technology roots, and accuse the channel of solely relying on shows like "X-Play" and "Attack of the Show!" to be the only reason why the channel is still on the air. With most of the remaining G4 original shows having been severely altered, many see this as G4's ongoing attempt to be a competitor to other male-oriented networks such as Spike, [cite web| last = McDuffee | first = Keith| title = Coming to G4: The Man Show? Update June 1,2008. G4 Tv will be re showing classic G4 shows such as Portal and other on their scedule starting June 2,2008.| publisher = TV Squad | date = 2005-09-27| url = http://www.tvsquad.com/2005/09/27/coming-to-g4-the-man-show/ | accessdate = 2007-08-08 ] [Richey, Joshua. [http://www.411mania.com/games/columns/47066/Pressing-Buttons-11.02.06:-The-Rise-and-Fall-of-G4-%5BPART-3%5D.htm The Rise and Fall of G4 (Part 3)] . 411mania.com. November 2, 2006.] thus losing any unique identity. [Richey, Joshua. [http://www.411mania.com/games/columns/47326/Pressing-Buttons-11.08.06:-The-Rise-and-Fall-of-G4-%5BPART-4%5D.htm The Rise and Fall of G4 (Part 4)] . 411mania.com. November 8, 2006.] G4 and Spike no longer share the cable/satellite syndication rights to "". The merger and the new male-oriented appeal [ [http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/life/20080325/d_g4tv25.art.htm G4 network tries a new game plan to get more guys] ] has caused negative reaction on the fanbase's end. There have been and still are "Anti-G4" websites, message boards, and petitions across the internet to try and repeal the changes. [ [http://ptdmagazine.com/2007/features/the-end-of-gamer-tv/ The End of Gamer TV] . PTD Magazine. August 20, 2007.]

In addition, certain syndicated programming shown on G4 have been controversial to some degree. "Banzai", when it initially aired on FOX in 2003, sparked protests from Asian-American groups for depictions of stereotypes. [Wilkes, Neil. [http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/ustv/a11398/banzai-sparks-protests-in-us.html 'Banzai' sparks protests in US] . Digital Spy: June 18, 2003.] In addition, the Parents Television Council has criticized other shows now in syndication on G4, including "Arrested Development", [ [http://www.parentstv.org/ptc/shows/main.asp?shwid=1801 PTC evaluation of "Arrested Development"] ] "Cheaters", [cite web| last = Bozell| first = L. Brent III| authorlink = L. Brent Bozell III| title = Missing Lucy More Than Ever | publisher = Parents Television Council| date = 2001-10-09| url = http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/publications/lbbcolumns/2001/col20011009.asp | accessdate = 2007-08-26 ] "COPS", [cite paper | title = May Sweeps Round-Up| publisher = Parents Television Council| date = May 2003| url = http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/publications/reports/mini_maysweeps.asp| accessdate = 2007-08-26] [ [http://www.parentstv.org/ptc/shows/main.asp?shwid=316 PTC evaluation on "COPS"] ] and "The Man Show". [cite paper| author = Lucia Alzaga et al.| title = Wired for Raunch: A Content Analysis of expanded basic cable's Original Prime-Time Series| publisher = Parents Television Council| date = 2002| url = http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/publications/reports/cablestudy/main.asp| accessdate = 2007-08-26 ] [ [http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/publications/reports/top10bestandworst/cable.asp PTC list of Best and Worst Cable Shows of 2001-2002 season] ]

To alleviate some of the major complaints many of the G4 fanbase have levied against G4TV, the network announced that beginning on June 2, 2008, it would run a new feature block of programming known as "G4 Rewind". [ [http://www.g4tv.com/rewind/ G4 - Rewind ] ] The revival of many classic shows, and a "Pop-Up Video" style informative box that appears at certain parts explaining behind the scenes secrets related to the current show. So far, the feedback from the G4 community has been positive. However, some criticism has returned since the decision was made in early September to ratchet down the "Rewind" schedule to 90 minutes a day (also, it only includes classic episodes of Cheat! and Game Makers).

G4 hosts

*Adam Sessler (host of "X-Play")
*Morgan Webb (co-host of "X-Play")
*Kristin Holt (host of "Cheat!", a segment on "X-Play" & secondary anchor of "The Feed" on "Attack of the Show")
*Kevin Pereira (co-host of "Attack of the Show!")
*Olivia Munn (co-host of "Attack of the Show!")
*Layla Kayleigh (primary anchor of "The Feed" on "Attack of the Show!")
*Chris Gore (movie correspondent and presents "DVDuesday" on "Attack of the Show!")
*Blair Butler (comic book correspondent, presents "Fresh Ink" on "Attack of the Show!")
*Chris Hardwick ("Gadget Honkie" presents "Gadget Pr0n" on "Attack of the Show!")
*Anna David (sex columnist and is the presenter of "In Your Pants" on "Attack of the Show!")
*Zach Selwyn (correspondent on "Attack of the Show!")
*Alison Haislip (correspondent & tertiary anchor of "The Feed" on "Attack of the Show!")

G4techTV Canada

G4techTV Canada is co-owned by G4 Media and Rogers Media. Because of the co-ownership between G4 and Rogers, and the network's licensing with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as a technology channel, the rename of February 15, 2005 did not take effect in Canada. Also, because of CRTC programming regulations, some programs that air on G4 in the U.S. do not air on G4techTV Canada; those shows are instead replaced by Canadian-produced technology programming.

G4techTV Canada is very different from its American counterpart because of these CRTC regulations. This has met with Positive reaction from fan's, As the station is closer to what both channel's used to be Pre-Merger without shifting gears towards Male General Interest Programming that G4 has.

G4HD

G4HD will be launched on December 8, 2008. [ [http://comcastnetworks.com comcastnetworks.com] ]

ee also

*TechTV
*G4techTV
*G4techTV Canada
*List of programs broadcast by G4
*AllGamesNetwork

Footnotes

External links

* [http://www.g4tv.com/ Official Site]
* [http://www.g4techtv.ca/ G4techTV Canada]
* [http://www.gcycle.org/ Gcycle (G4's electronic waste recycling campaign)]
* [http://www.g4tv.wikia.com/ G4TV Wikia]
* [http://www.g4rewind.com/ G4 Rewind]


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