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Comcast’s G4 Launches ‘B4G4’ Test Series Ahead of Summer 2021 Relaunch

The rebirthed G4 TV is kicking off a weekly content material collection — dubbed “B4G4” — to get fan suggestions on the programming forward of the gaming community’s official summer time 2021 bow.

G4, which is being revived beneath the auspices of Comcast’s Spectator sports activities unit, will publish content material beneath the B4G4 (“earlier than G4”) banner on its YouTube and Twitch channels. Execs say the pre-release technique will allow them to experiment with a number of codecs, together with authentic sketch comedy, recreation opinions, expertise collaborations, and music and esports parodies. G4 will encourage followers to chime in on what they like — and don’t like — on the official Reddit r/g4tv discussion board.

Within the B4G4 combine shall be components of the every day 123/information present “Assault of the Present!” and game-reviews present “X-Play,” two of G4’s hottest authentic collection. These are each returning to the community’s programming slate at launch, the web confirmed on social channels Thursday. These shall be “reimagined for a brand new viewers” with new interactivity options, mentioned Kevin Sabbe, G4’s head of content material.

“We need to get suggestions from the group from the get-go,” mentioned Sabbe, who additionally serves as chief content material officer for Spectacor Gaming. “It’s very developmental and experimental, designed to be iterative.”

The expertise lineup, together with which G4 alums could also be returning for “Assault of the Present!” and “X-Play,” continues to be in flux. Final fall, G4 introduced WWE star Xavier Woods, aka Austin Creed, as its first expertise signing, as half of a charity particular that includes a reunion of former hosts. As well as, former “X-Play” co-host Adam Sessler has participated in G4’s prelaunch content material.

Sabbe promised that different “acquainted faces” shall be coming again to G4 alongside new solid members. Added Blair Herter, G4’s VP of model, “We’re like ‘SNL’ — it’s the faces you understand and the faces you’ve got but to find.”

Within the B4G4 launch video Friday, G4 launched a brand new character: Jerry Excel, the community’s fictional “interim CEO,” performed by YouTube comic Gus Johnson. Jerry will pop up intermittently over the subsequent a number of months, serving as a “mouthpiece for suggestions from the viewers,” Sabbe mentioned. (Watch the video above or at this hyperlink.)

B4G4 additionally will tie into the #G4NeedsTalent marketing campaign launched final September, giving superfans the possibility to audition by means of the content material collection, each as on-camera hosts and in off-camera producing and writing roles. Sabbe mentioned the recruiting effort resulted in purposes that numbered within the “low 1000’s.”

“After we say that is for avid gamers, by avid gamers — that is really doing that,” Sabbe mentioned. “We’re crowdsourcing staff.”

When Comcast Spectacor first greenlit the reboot of G4, transferring the dormant model from the vaults of company cousin NBCUniversal, the plans had been set early on to construct the content material slate collaboratively with G4’s followers. “The thought of constructing a content material platform and community with out the suggestions of the viewers… doesn’t make sense in 2021,” mentioned Herter, who labored at G4 from 2007-12 as a co-host on “Assault of the Present!” and “X-Play.”

G4 first teased the relaunch final July of the community, which launched as a cable channel in 2002 earlier than NBCU shut it down in 2014. A rep mentioned G4 has employed a GM however declined to determine who that’s. In the meantime, G4 says the programming shall be distributed on “digital and linear channels” however it’s unclear whether or not that can embody a slot on pay TV.

“We’re going to be in every single place our viewers is. It’s not one providing that lives in each place,” Sabbe mentioned. “We’re in deep discussions on distribution… We’re treating each single attainable touchpoint as a content material portal.”

G4 is predicated in Los Angeles and at present has 40-plus staff. Comcast Spectacor is constructing a studio facility for G4 in Burbank, Calif. (separate from the NBC campus). The ability is ready to be operational by mid-2021 and can embody two sound phases, plus a gathering house for avid gamers and streamers. “It’s like a clubhouse,” mentioned Sabbe.

As for why G4 is housed beneath Spectacor, Comcast’s sports activities and esports division, reasonably than with NBCU, Sabbe mentioned that Spectacor is “the heartbeat of gaming on the firm.” Spectacor owns the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and Philly’s Wells Fargo Heart area, however it’s additionally house to esports workforce Philadelphia Fusion, which competes in Blizzard’s Overwatch League.

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