DirecTV pulls G4 from lineup

Move comes after failed carriage negotiations with Comcast

DirecTV will yank guy-centric cabler G4 from its lineup effective today.

The satellite provider announced the move Sunday afternoon after it failed to strike a new carriage deal with G4 owner Comcast Entertainment Group.

“We were unable to reach an agreement to carry G4 and it is being removed from the DirecTV platform tomorrow,” a DirecTV spokesman said Sunday.

The two sides have been locked in a carriage battle for months.

With the clock ticking, G4 informed it viewers last week the channel may be dropped from DirecTV.

“We have been trying to engage DirecTV in fair and reasonable discussions to continue to carry G4,” the channel said in a statement last week. “G4 offered DirecTV the same basic deal we have had for the past three years. However they still plan to drop the network and deny G4 fans the only network that focuses on the popular gaming lifestyle.”

G4’s deal with DirecTV — believed to be around 5¢ per subscriber per month — originally expired at the end of September, but both sides agreed to a one-month extension.

A similar arrangement didn’t appear to be in the cards this time around, however.

Over at G4 parent Comcast Entertainment, insiders expressed a belief that DirecTV brass didn’t understand the cabler’s niche draw.

Besides “Attack of the Show” and its other staple series, the gamer-fueled “X-Play,” G4 targets young men with a mix of such edgy series as “Ninja Warrior” and “Whacked Out Videos,” along with off-net fare like “Cops” and “Heroes.”

Comcast noted that G4 has grown its audience by more than 175% over the past five years.

Comcast and DirecTV scuffled last year over the sports network Versus, which was yanked from the satcaster until a deal could finally be reached.

A carriage showdown would draw the kind of attention that Comcast doesn’t want right now, as its deal to acquire a controlling interest in NBC Universal goes through the final stages of regulatory approval.

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