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Comcast teases relaunch of tech-centric G4 channel

The channel might launch on Peacock, or it could replace SyFy on cable and satellite systems.

The channel might launch on Peacock, or it could replace SyFy on cable and satellite systems.

Comcast will revive the G4 brand for some kind of media product more than five years after it closed the tech-centric cable TV network.

A teaser video posted online during the San Diego Comic-Con At Home event revealed the cable giant has plans to relaunch the G4 brand in 2021.

In its prior incarnation, G4 existed as a video game and technology-centric channel, producing and airing shows like “Attack of the Show,” “X-Play” and “Anime Unleashed.” The network closed in 2014 after DirecTV dropped the channel from its lineup.

Friday’s announcement didn’t offer any clues about what form the revived G4 would take, though it’s possible the new network will replace an existing Comcast offering. Prior to the announcement, Comcast quietly re-designed G4’s website, which still contains elements of the SyFy Wire website. Like G4, SyFy is owned by Comcast.

Google search data revealing elements of the blog SyFy Wire on Comcast’s G4 website.

Relaunching SyFy as G4 would not be without precedent: Cable programmers often replace one channel with another in order to secure same-day carriage on cable and satellite TV systems. In 2012, Comcast relaunched Style as Esquire in part so it would not have to negotiate agreements with distributors to carry the channel.

If Comcast re-brands SyFy as G4, it would make the channel immediately available to subscribers of major cable and satellite systems as well as streaming services YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, Fubo TV, AT&T TV Now and Sling TV.

Another popular theory is that Comcast will create a digital-only linear channel for its new streaming service Peacock. The service currently offers a mixture of live channels from NBC News, Broadway Video, Comcast-owned Sky News and Digital Media Rights.

Comcast is keeping things quiet for now, but more information on their plans for G4 is expected before next year.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).