The first show I ever watched on G4 was Filter. I admit, I enjoyed it, as any top ten countdown involving games and a remotely attractive Asian woman is going to be enjoyable, but I also wondered how long could it go on for and still be watchable. I mean there were only so many countdowns the show could run through and still be interesting. This problem was kind of emblematic of the entire station though. Not enough content to keep on maintaining interest from the general public. Ratings plummeted and the station reformatted itself.
Now the station is on a 35 month role of increased ratings, according to G4’s President, Neal Tiles on G4’s Open Source page. This is because, he says, they aren’t solely focusing on games anymore, despite the eyer of many of the stations fans. In fact most of the gaming programming has been removed from G4 to allow for shows like Star Trek and Cops because it brings in bigger ratings. Tiles says that this does not mean that gaming will be removed completely from G4 and that the station is not becoming another Spike. After explaining that he wants G4 to be the television station for the “Xbox/YouTube/iPod generation,” Tiles then hit everyone who still had hopes of a station completely devoted to gaming with the hard hand of reality.
Now will every show on G4 be tech, videogame, web-related, etc? While I wish it could, it’s unfortunately not possible in order to grow the network…we need to balance what will define us vs. what has mass appeal…because, first and foremost, we are a business and not a “public service.”
I don’t want to agree, because in theory an all video game channel sounds amazing, but I’m forced to. There just wasn’t enough to keep G4 interesting and I don’t know if there ever could be. Gamers go to the web for their news (thank you, by the way) and can get almost any information the second it is released. Meanwhile a 24 hour television station would seem behind the times with whatever they were doing. Add to this that there really isn’t any old gaming shows the station could use for filler when original programming wasn’t running and you have a station showing the same shows over and over until not even the hardcore gamers are tuning in anymore. It just seems that the medium of gaming was not meant to be covered 24/7 on television. Why this is would take a far more in depth study but I just can’t be angry at G4 for wanting to make money and “all gaming, all the time” was just not doing it for them.