Gamers in trouble: G4 moves to E!
TV Week reports that Comcast will consolidate its West Coast entertainment networks, and shift G4 under the control of E! Hopefully this doesn't mean Ryan Seacrest will be covering game news. The cable network has struggled since it debuted in 2002, although it does hold the dubious claim of being the most podcasted cable network in America. If you visited the G4 booth at E3 this year, you had to download and watch one of their podcasts before they would give you any schwag, like giant foam Spock hands in the Vulcan salute -- a reminder that they now feature classic Star Trek episodes in their lineup to attract more viewers.
G4 is ranked 57th out of 64 basic cable networks, and hasn't been able to make focusing solely on video games work. E! Chief Ted Harbert said, "I do agree with the vision of going after young men more than just going after gaming. Gaming has been demonstrated as being too narrow." Yes, focusing on an industry that pulls in more than nine billion dollars yearly seems really narrow. This doesn't bode well for shows like X-Play and Cheat!, which are the sole hangers-on from a channel that now features fare like Cheaters and Fastlane in its lineup.
If they can start airing shows that people would actually pay attention to, like Red vs. Blue or The Leeroy Jenkins Power Hour, things might start looking up.
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