Comcast should revive original G4 broadcasting

Nathan Mendelowitz

G4 began as a channel dedicated to all things video game related. Unfortunately, since being consolidated in 2006, G4 has abandoned video game coverage for a mixed bag of shows. 

Launching in 2002, G4 started with a plethora of shows about all kinds of video games. Shows included “Cheat,” which focused on different kinds of cheats and walkthroughs for games, “Sweat,” which focused on sports games and “Arena,” which held small tournaments of team based games.

Former President Neal Tiles took control of the channel in 2005 and began to make changes.

In an interview with Variety magazine in 2006, Tiles said, “We’re going through a change. Guys like to play games, but not necessarily watch a bunch of shows with games on the screen.” He went on to say the channel was going to focus on shows that are inspired by games.

However, this never came to fruition. Later that same year, Comcast consolidated E! and G4, cutting most of the original programming on G4. The only programs left for video games were “X-Play” and “Attack of the Show.”

This was a big hit to gaming-related media. When G4 started, it was great feeling to finally see a channel solely dedicated to video games.

After watching it get skewered throughout the years, however, it felt like the gaming world was taking a step back. Video games shouldn’t be relegated to internet coverage and YouTube videos; it deserves to be on television.

Now G4 has reruns of “Cops” and “Cheaters,” which have nothing to do video games. There are shows like “Campus PD” and “Ninja Warrior” which just add to the confusion of what G4 is.

It seems like G4 is trying to be like Spike TV, or more like a dumping ground for shows rejected by Spike TV.

There is a way to fix all this. First, go back to the reason the channel was created: make it about video games. Gamers love watching and listening about video games.

The “Let’s Play” craze on YouTube is evidence enough gamers will watch people play games and follow there every move.

G4 should take lessons from sports entertainment giant ESPN.

What’s made ESPN so popular is they not only have “SportsCenter” to cover everything sports related in a day, but there are shows dedicated to each sport, such as “Baseball Tonight,” “NFL Live” and “NBA Shootaround.”

G4 had a similar format when it started. Shows like “Sweat” and “Blister” covered specific games, but the content was thin and was only on once a week. One half-hour show a week is not enough time to cover one genre.

Having shows catering to each genre gives better coverage of video games. It’s also beneficial for gamers because they can get specific knowledge of their favorite games, rather than general information like a release date and a short review.

There’s still hope for G4 to make a turnaround. Comcast should have more faith in video game news because gamers will watch it.

Until that change is made,  many gamers will refuse to watch G4. 

Nathan Mendelowitz can be reached at [email protected]