They say the numbers don’t lie, and according to the year-end television ratings report from Nielsen, Comcast’s quickly-shuttered attempt at reviving G4 was – unsurprisingly – an abysmal failure in terms of viewership.
That’s no hyperbole either – as per an overview of the metric analysis agency’s findings shared by IndieWire, G4 had the worst prime time audience numbers of all 126 standard cable channels currently offered to American audiences.
How bad was G4 2.0’s last place finish? During its brief run from November 2021 to October 2022, the network managed to pull an average of only 1,000 viewers during the period of 8 PM – 11 PM every Monday through Friday.
For comparison the other network which debuted this year alongside G4, the televenovella dedicated Galanovelas/TL Novelas, came in 114th with 15,000 average viewers.
Just above G4 in the ratings were the outdoor hunting-oriented network Pursuit Channel, which ranked 125 with 2,000 average prime time viewers, and the foreign MENA region sports network beIN Sports, which ranked 124 with 3,000 average prime time viewers.
The video game network was also beat out by Comedy.TV (121, 4,000 viewers), a channel dedicated to clips from various stand-up comedy acts, and Cleo TV (116, 12,000 viewers), whose programming is made solely for the demographic of younger black women.
To put G4’s disastrous performance into further perspective, the top three most-watched cable networks were MSNBC (3, 1.208 million viewers), ESPN (2, 1.915 million viewers), and Fox News (1, 2.330 million viewers).
While many will understandably rush to cite former Xplay host Indiana “Frosk” Black’s now infamous “sexism in gaming” rant as the reason for the network’s failure to capture any sort of audience, it should be noted that while her identity-politics-laden screed was undoubtedly a major factor in this regard, the writing was on the wall for G4 before it even returned to air.
As explained by Bounding Into Comics’ own Jacob Smith in the immediate aftermath of G4’s second collapse, “Even aside from its abysmal choice in hosts, the odds of success for G4 in 2022 were even worse than they were in the late-2000s thanks to one simple factor: the internet.”
“With outlets like YouTube and Twitch allowing for regular players to make Let’s Plays, cover gaming news, and entertain with original content,” said Smith. “Likewise, esports has brought a significant rise to both the popularity and public support of multiplayer games.”
“What was once considered niche has now become mainstream – so much so the market has become somewhat saturated,” he wrote. “So, in this environment, how could [a network] that struggled to find an audience 12 years ago effectively endear itself to viewers today?
“Well, we now know the answer to this question,” Smith concluded his analysis. “They couldn’t.”