G4 (Canadian TV channel)
G4 is a defunct Canadian English-language specialty television channel owned by Rogers Media. The name was licensed from NBCUniversal, whose parent company Comcast formerly owned a minority stake in the channel. Based on the U.S subscription networks TechTV and G4, the channel was originally focused on technology-themed programming.
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
|Owner||Rogers Sports & Media|
|Launched||September 7, 2001|
|Closed||August 31, 2017|
|Former names||TechTV (2001–04)|
On November 24, 2000, through a joint venture, Rogers Media (33.34%), Shaw Communications (33.33%) and TechTV US (33.33%) were granted approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to launch a Canadian version of the U.S. television channel TechTV, described by its nature of service as "providing programming about computing, technology and the Internet." The channel launched on September 7, 2001 as the Canadian version of TechTV.
After months of speculation, on March 25, 2004, Comcast announced it would acquire TechTV from Vulcan Programming Inc., with plans to merge TechTV with its own gaming-related channel, G4. As part of the purchase, Comcast acquired TechTV's 33.33% interest in the Canadian version, spinning it off into its subsidiary, G4 Media. The transaction was completed on May 10, and the American services were merged into G4techTV on May 28, 2004. TechTV Canada would follow suit and be renamed G4techTV. On February 15, 2005, less than a year after the merger, the American version was renamed back to G4. In June 2006, Shaw Communications sold its interest in the channel to the managing partner, Rogers Media. At an unknown date, Comcast also sold its interest to Rogers, giving it full ownership.
In 2013, the American version was scheduled to be rebranded as the Esquire Network due to low ratings. However, at the last minute, its parent company decided to rebrand Style Network instead due to the latter's more expanded pay-TV carriage. G4 Canada's social media channels went dormant but still active after that point, with its website remaining in the same design since the early 2010s (though new content continued to be cycled in). G4 Canada launched a high-definition feed of its own on December 4, 2014, while its American counterpart ceased operations at the end of 2014.
The channel's sole first-run shows, EP Daily and Reviews on the Run ceased broadcast after December 2015, as G4 Canada shifted away from technology-themed programming to more general interest programming. Much of the channel's schedule now consisted of series syndicated from other Rogers television channels, with the CRTC's required tech-related programming relegated to out-of-date library content aired in the morning hours.
On July 5, 2017, Cartt reported via a Rogers representative that G4 would shut down on August 31, 2017, and that it would not be replaced with a new service. The channel space created by TechTV in 2001 ceased to exist shortly after. The representative cited "the current competitive television landscape" and a desire to focus on Rogers' "core specialty portfolio". The CRTC approved the revocation of G4's licence in August 2017. By coincidence, G4's Canadian iteration outlasted both its American mother network and Esquire Network, G4's intended replacement, which ended all operations on June 28, 2017.
The channel primarily aired technology and gaming-related programming acquired from its American counterparts, along with several Canadian-produced series. During its final years, G4 would air reruns of shows sourced from Rogers' sibling networks.
G4, under the name G4techTV, was broadcast internationally in Barbados. The government-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation in Barbados switched from providing the American-based feed, in favour of the Canadian channel for its cable television network known as Multi-Choice TV. The provider discontinued carriage before the network's shutdown.
- Welcome to G4 Canada Retrieved 2014-20-02
- Decision CRTC 2000-454; CRTC; 2000-12-14
- Comcast Agrees to Purchase TechTV; RedOrbit; 2004-03-25
- Comcast: TechTV + G4 = G4TechTV; Multichannel News; 2004-05-10
- Tech TV Canada gets a new name and new programming Archived 2007-10-28 at the Wayback Machine Channel Canada; 2004-05-17
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-10-28. Retrieved 2010-08-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "G4 gets dumped in the U.S., but Canada is stuck with a TV channel dedicated to tech". Canada.com. 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
- G4TV Canada official Facebook page (accessed December 26, 2014)
- G4TV Canada (@G4TVCanada) - Twitter (accessed December 26, 2014)
- Changes to MTS TV on December 4, 2014 (accessed March 6, 2015)
- "Canadian video game TV show Electric Playground is currently on hiatus". Regina Leader-Post. 2015-12-31. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
- "G4TV Schedule". August 15, 2017. Archived from the original on August 15, 2017.
- "Rogers Media pulls the plug on G4". Cartt. 7 July 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- "Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-283". CRTC. 14 August 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2017.