Comcast announced that they would be bringing back G4TV in 2021. For those too young to remember, G4 was an old cable channel that focused on gaming and male-oriented entertainment. The channel rose to fame after merging with TechTV in 2004, which was owned by a venture company that was backed by none other than Paul Allen.
For people in our age group that grew up during these formative years, the demise of TechTV and G4TV left an entertainment void in our life that not many sources have been able to fill. Leo Laporte went on to form his TWiT Network, taking several key people with him. Patrick Norton went to TekThing, which also had a good run. Chris Pirillo has done some interesting things and now works for Intel. But, nothing has ever truly replaced all of the great programming that TechTV and G4TV brought. I am somewhat excited about this, but the details have yet to be announced. All we have is a cryptic trailer on the G4TV Twitter account.
I think this is too little to late. Think about it. All of these venues have moved to Twitch. YouTube tried to establish a foothold but ultimately failed. Even Microsoft got in on the action with their Mixr platform. Even they folded in the towel. My prediction is that G4TV will be as successful as QUIBI.
As much as I would like a Cable Television program to succeed, I’m a realist. Their time has come and gone. If G4TV was serious, they would put up something on another platform and hope for a revenue split.
I am not super-excited about this, if they stay true to their G4TV roots, because they drove a lot of the original TechTV people away. I liked Leo Laporte, Chris Pirillo, and Patrick Norton, all of whom did not remain with G4TV. I suspect these “older” hosts were seen to not be a culture fit with the demographic for which the new “gaming” channel was aiming. I also agree with Ian, streaming is the way forward and if this is strictly on cable or a streaming service that isn’t mainstream, it will end up failing. They have to compete with the likes of Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Mixr, and so many other services that are more established. We have yet to see the programming, but if they try to bring an old model to a new medium, it will be bound to fail.