It was officially announced early this morning that G4 – a channel known for its gaming focus – it officially being rebranded by NBCUniversal and Hearst Magazines as the “Esquire Channel.” While understandable due to G4’s overall low ratings, the decision has received a lot of backlash from viewers.
The Esquire Channel has already acquired re-runs of series “Party Down” and “Parks and Recreation,” in addition to new series like “Knife Fight,” a cooking competition show, and “The Getaway,’ an Anthony Bourdain-produced travel show. Esquire also plans to continue airing “American Ninja Warrior,” a popular G4 show.
The Eqsuire Channel is said to be for “the upwardly mobile, educated and highly engaged man,” according to NBCUniversal ad sales president Linda Yaccarino. Yaccarino said specific access to this market is difficult to come by – but is it more difficult to reach than the geek/gaming community?
Sort of. The majority of negative responses have been from people who were fans of recently cancelled “Attack of the Show” and “X-Play:” two gaming-centric shows and those who think that the planned channel is incredibly sexist. Those who agree with the latter say that a channel for specifically for men alienates the entire gaming community. At the same time, channels like Lifetime and WEtv that are geared towards women, have seemingly been forgotten in these criticisms.
Because the decision to rebrand is strictly business-inspired, the argument that Esquire promotes sexism is a little ridiculous. Combined with the rise of web TV – especially YouTube channels that are devoted to geek/gaming culture, like Felicia Day’s Geek and Sundry – it’s not as if geek-centric TV is dying. In contrast, it seems as if this genre of television is actually ahead of the curve.
The Esquire Channel will premiere of April 22nd of this year.