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DirecTV drops Comcast's G4 in latest tussle between media giants

DirecTV has pulled the plug on G4, the Comcast-owned channel that caters to young men with a mix of programming about video games and pretty girls.

The move was not unexpected. Back in September DirecTV gave Comcast notice that it was dropping the channel when their current deal expired at the end of the month. Comcast, the nation's largest cable operator, was able to persuade DirecTV to extend the contract through October in the hopes of reaching a new pact.

But DirecTV, which has about 19 million subscribers, thinks interest in G4 is too small to justify carriage. The satellite broadcaster's new Chief Executive Mike White has indicated that he wants to find a way to cut programming costs and to reevaluate what channels are essential and what ones can be cut loose.

Comcast has countered that G4's ratings have been on the rise and that the company has offered DirecTV the same deal it has had to carry the network for the last few years. G4 had cost DirecTV about five cents per subscriber, per month, according to people familiar with the agreement.

This is not the first time DirecTV and Comcast have feuded over a channel. In 2009, DirecTV stopped carrying Versus, Comcast's sports channel and that dispute lasted seven months and included name-calling between the two media giants.

Given that Comcast, the nation's No. 1 cable operator, is in the process of trying to acquire programming giant NBC Universal -- a deal that rival distributors such as DirecTV have concerns about -- one might wonder if the situation involving G4 is an isolated incident. Comcast has a sports channel in Philadelphia that it does not offer satellite distributors. There are also certain conditions that rival media companies want put on the Comcast-NBC merger. Perhaps DirecTV really doesn't think G4 is worth five cents a subscriber or perhaps there is a bigger agenda at play here.

For now, DirecTV has not said what it will replace G4 with and viewers are created with a message telling them the channel has moved.

-- Joe Flint


Comcast and DirecTV not playing games with G4

For the record: This post was updated to reflect what DirecTV is telling subscribers about G4 and that Comcast's Philadelphia sports channel is offered to rival cable and telco distributors but not satellite broadcasters such as Dish and DirecTV. 



Comments () | Archives (29)

I didn't know about this. This really sucks. I like G4. Where the hell am I gonna get Comic Con coverage next year? :|

G4 was my favorite channel on Direc Tv.
The channel was about more than just Games and Girls.
It was about Computers, Gadgets and pop-Culture.

Direc Tv doesn't have any other channels with shows that pertain to my interests. And I'm positive there were other channels they could have pulled.

This is a classic example of why there was regulation in the first place. It would seem that two media giants could play nice together with their subscribers interests at heart but it seems that the consumers are always the first to get the fallout due to some petty power play move. The FCC should step in and arbitrate this nonsense if they wish to allow conglomerates to exist in an entertainment/utility atmosphere. Comcast, shame on you for trying to use your programming as a weapon and DirecTV, shame on you for not putting your customers first in your negotiations.

So does this mean, as a Directv user, I am getting a new channel to replace the one I was paying for, or am I getting a 5 cent savings on my bill from now on?

What the hell am I supposed to do with myself without their daily 5-hour marathons of Cops?

ridiculous, recently acquired direct tv with the belief i would have g4.. should have been told they planned to drop it. enjoy the channel (did). the money they make off consumers, and they're going to complain over 5 cents a month ? are you kidding me ?? how about dumping some of the 100 or so useless channels....looks like i'll be looking for a different provider..

direct tv has so many lame channels.i am a customer of direct tv,but do not take my G4.ask me,if i want 5 religion channels,or 4 lame golf channels.come on!I'LL PAY THE FIVE CENTS. JUST GIVE ME MY G4.so drop the bull.and satisfy your paying customer.

So does this mean, as a Directv user, I am getting a new channel to replace the one I was paying for, or am I getting a 5 cent savings on my bill from now on?

Posted by: Rock | November 01, 2010 at 11:49 AM

This is the dumbest comment I have ever read... Do you pay directv an additional 5 cents every month when they add additional channels??? get your head out of your ass.

Disputes like this underscore the consistent failure of U.S. media policy to provide the best services to consumers. Lawmakers and regulators instead have caved in again and again to the powerful broadcast/cable lobby.

The first big mistake was the government's failure to declare cable television a common carrier, subject to regulation, like the phone companies or interstate trucking. This happened in the 1950s, when cable was in its infancy.

The second was abolition of the "must carry" rule in the 1980s, the rule that required cable systems to carry broadcast stations in their markets without compensation. This led to exorbitant demands from broadcasters for retransmission fees.

The third was the repeal of the so-called "fin-syn" rules preventing program distributors from owning a financial interest in content. This happened in the early '90s and has led to unholy alliances like Comcast/NBC.

It is a bit late in the game to call for regulation now. Better to let the big media dinosaurs slug it out for a diminishing share of the entertainment market, while we consumers slip off to Netflix and other online distributors. Will the last cable subscriber please turn out the lights?

Directv has over 20 shopping channels that they can do without yet they get rid of G4?

Directv=Epic Fail!!!

Ahh...two dying companies, working against each other to watch as their industry withers away in stupidity.

Really to bad. G4 was a neat time-killer for me after work.

As a DirecTV customer, I may have to look into upgrading the internet and just using Hulu for tv.

Internet distribution of media seems to be the growing norm, and as bandwidth is more plentiful, it only makes sense to have media on demand.

D, you just posted the dumbest comment here. The Directv plans price are based on the amount of channels you get. You pay more for a 160 channel package than if you buy the 120 channel package. So, if they drop a channel, you are getting one less channel than you are paying for on that package. If I decide to upgrade to a 200 channel package, yes I do end up paying more for the additional channels they add. So if they remove a channel from my 160 package, they either should replace tha channel so I end up with 160 channels, or they drop the price according to a 159 channel package. Moron.

"One might wonder if the situation involving G4 is an isolated incident."

It's not. As said in the paragraph above it, Comcast previously pulled Versus from DirecTV.

It's interesting how every Comcast owned (or partially-owned) channel appears on Comcast cable systems in every market, even in high definition, and are often given priority in terms of HD and channel space over rival channels.

FINALLY!!! My Boycott of G4 has prevailed. LONG LIVE TECHTV!!!

I can't believe DirecTV is really is really going to drop G4. It was one of my favorite channels. Somebody create a petition for DirecTv to put G4 back on.


Good riddance. Come on, guys. G4 shows nothing but trash. Thank God, DirecTV had saved me a nickel per month. Before you go into watching shows online, let me tell you three things.

First, they were never an all gaming channel since they merged with TechTV. they killed Cinematech, Anime Unleashed, Filter with Diane Mizota, Call for Help, and Infected with Martin Sargent. Did I mention they killed TechTV?

Second, besides airing COPS, they aired the worst shows, Code Monkeys and Spaceballs: The Animated Series.

Third, let me just say is when companies start charging you excessively for internet video service, throw out your TV and your computers. Let the corporate media and the economy suffer. Go buy yourselves a book, or read The Good Book.

I used to get mad at G4 for showing crap like cops and those ninja banzi shows when in fact,they are suppose to be a computer/vidio game channel,before it became G4 they used to have another vidio game program along with xPlay [elecronic somthing]i cant remember the name,also CHEAT was another one, there was also a progam where people would call in with computer problems,That was a great one,My point is there are programs like this out there,there should have been more on G4,but still even with only xPlay and AOTS i still love the channel,the only reason i went from the first package to the premium package,i read that it cost directv 5 cents more per customer per month for G4,what about the 5 or 10 dollers extra im paying more per package just to get G4, isnt that enough? i might drop directv altogether now,..well see.Dave

Directv U suck!

DirecTV can say goodbye to my $130+ bucks a month just as soon as I find someone else who offers G4... but hey, they'll barely miss me with that $0.05 in savings! Adios DTV.

This sucks, Directv!! Get G4 back. I miss the cop shows and the updates. Get over yourself or I'm going to be dropping you!!

I am a long time viewer of G4, and DirectTV taking it off their listing is Horrible. Gamers everywhere should unite and demand that DirectTV bring back our favorite TV station.

Join the facebook group to help bring G4 back! We have contact info for DirecTV and petitions join the fight! Link http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_171645999519576&notif_t=group_r2j

This is crap. G4 was one of my favorite channels, I can't believe they cut it. What about ComicCon coverage?! I'm going to go insane, it was the only video game channel and the only channel with any ComicCon info (crucial to one who can't go!)


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