Oct 22, 2004

Hey Comcast . . .

It's been a little over half a year since you guys bought TechTV and merged it with your ill-conceived G4 network. Originally, you guys said y'all were going to name the new network G4, but smarter heads prevailed to a point and named it G4techTV. Admittedly, I felt you guys would have been better and name it something entirely different, creating a new brand as a result.

But G4techTV failed . . . badly. It landed on its ass and hasn't really caught on with the masses.

Sure, G4techTV is on 50 million households, and that's good. But who's really watching? And what are they really watching? Yeah, they're largely watching X-Play. X-Play is the most watched series on G4techTV. It's also 70% of why you guys bought TechTV. You turned The Screen Savers into a 75% gaming show instead of the 85% tech-oriented show it was meant to be (and pushed out a bulk of the older, wiser Savers to boot). What's worse is that you took out three minutes of The Screen Savers to show simulated video-game hockey clips.

I'm going to say this one more time to make sure you understood me.

YOU TOOK OUT A THREE MINUTE CHUNK OF A MARQUEE SERIES TO SHOW FAKE HOCKEY COVERAGE!!!

Under the name of G4 Sports, you, in effect, are pouring salt on the wounds of hockey fans who would rather see the real thing than see hockey video game clips. It's stupid. I'm in a minor-league town, mind you. Some Chicago Blackhawks are playing across the river in Norfolk for the AHL team here.

Also, the name is G4 Sports, not G4techTV Sports. It's like business as usual at G4 rather than fully uniting G4 with TechTV as promised. The bulk of the lineup is filled with old G4 programming. All the newer shows, with the exception of X-Play, use G4 microphones, not G4techTV logos (seriously, they could easily slap a TechTV logo sticker on another side of a mike. They even have a show called G4TV.com, which could have easily been renamed G4techTV.com, but alas, that would have caused a little more work to be done. What's more, the name of the production company is G4 Media. It's sad that you guys don't really know what you had when you bought TechTV.

You had a news department that actually covered tech news more than once a week, people that actually knew what they were talking about, and older folks who were experienced in the industry. Instead of a great network, you essentially turned TechTV into a game version of MTV.

And that's not a compliment.

So, Comcast, hear me out. You want to start phasing out the TechTV name on your programming? Fine. Phase out the G4 name as well as the G4 Media name. Relaunch the network's programming under a new name, develop some new programming to fill out the Cheats/Cinematech hour, decide between Judgement Day and The Electric Playground (I'd choose EP because it has more bite to it and not so sophomoric), and actually have more tech-driven programming. And no, Robot Wars is not tech-driven (not as much as Techno Games was). You merged the networks together, but didn't have an exit strategy in making the network successful. You guys need help. Listen to the old TechTV fans.

They know what's up.

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