The Comcast-owned guy-centric cabler has been locked in a carriage battle with the satellite provider for months. The channel is now set to leave DirecTV on Nov. 1 if both sides can’t come to an agreement.
With the clock ticking, G4 used its signature pop culture series “Attack of the Show” to inform viewers of the standoff on Thursday. G4’s "Attack of the Show" host Kevin Pereira and “Web Soup” host Chris Hardwick also sent tweets to fans, urging DirecTV viewers to call a toll-free number (1-888-9-WeAreG4) in support of the channel.
“We have been trying to engage DirecTV in fair and reasonable discussions to continue to carry G4,” the channel said in a statement. “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 five cents 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 as of Thursday afternoon, however.
“We’re in discussions with G4,” said DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer. “Unless we come to an agreement, the channel will come down on Nov. 1.”
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 edgy series like “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.