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Cable net G4 puts the focus on E3

Videogame-focused net plans round-the-cloverage of mart

When your network is focused on the world of videogames, this week’s E3 confab “is the Super Bowl.”

According to Erika Lewis, G4’s veepee of production, the cable channel plans round-the-clock reporting from the expo’s floor at the Los Angeles Convention Center and from press conferences held at various locations downtown.

With E3 week the highest-rated week of programming for G4 each year, Lewis said the network has pushed to broadcast more from the convention than ever before. The coverage will highlight over 50 hands-on demos, including hotly anticipated titles such as Sony’s “God of War: Ascension,” Microsoft’s “Halo 4” and Activision’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2,” while exclusively airing Sony’s press conference commercial-free on Monday night from the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.

“Our audience is constantly growing,” Lewis said. “The younger ones are already growing up (with) a controller in their hands, and the folks who really embraced (gaming) are well out of college and into their 40s. For some people, it’s just mobile gaming — but even they’re still interested.”

G4 also aims to keep the ball rolling post-E3 with a special weeklong segment, “Top 100 Video Games of All Time,” which will air as five one-hour episodes during primetime. The network hopes that the involvement of big-name talent, such as Jack Black, Robin Williams and Chad Ochocinco, will draw viewers and show core fans the network’s dedication to gaming.

The amount of original programming on G4 remains fairly low, with an average of only 7 1/2 hours per week in 2012. Events like E3 bolster the network’s viewership, and Lewis and Wade Beckett, exec producer of E3 coverage for G4, note that the expo is critical to the net’s marketing.

“We have our talent — our experts — out everywhere,” Beckett said. “They can speak to the hardcore gamers, to folks just into casual gaming. We hope this’ll have a halo effect.”