A spokesman for DirecTV said it is no longer negotiating and has no plans to return G4 to its subscribers at this time. "We are constantly evaluating our lineup in a new world where programming costs continue to rise at significant rates. Since G4 is among the lowest rated networks based on the latest Nielsen data, we decided that it made sense to focus on preserving programming that is more relevant to our larger customer base," the spokesman said.
This rasies one interesting question, and one important one.
Comcast owns G4 and with their inevitable purchase of a controlling stake in NBC Universal, will become a very powerful company in a position to retaliate strongly against DirecTV if it wants to be petty and make this dispute ugly. It wouldn't be hard for Comcast to start withholding other channels from DirecTV unless DTV changes their mind. By the time DTV's carriage agreement with NBC rolls around, Comcast will be setting the price, not GE.
With G4's ratings so low that it's being dropped from the country's largest satellite provider, and it's content so cheesy and therefore cheap to produce, this channel is ripe for online experimentation. The primary demo is young males who tend to be on the geek side of culture, the demo most likely to go online to watch video and find entertainment. Maybe Comcast should embrace change and take G4 online where it really belongs.
I really hope G4 doesn't have to resort to layoffs because of this. Even if this network doesn't interest you personally, it still employs a lot of people who work their butts off to create content they care about. Less diversity on television is always a bad thing, if you ask me.