The death of TechTV is now complete.

Comcast just keeps giving me reasons to hate them. First they gobbled up our region when MediaOne was sold to AT&T so we switched to Earthlink DSL until Wide Open West got their cable modem service up and running here in Michigan. Then they bought out TechTV and fired most of the staff. Then they dropped several of the shows from TechTV during the merger. Then they slowly killed off the handful of TechTV shows that they did keep one by one until the only two shows left from the merger are X-Play and The Screen Savers, the latter of which barely resembles the geek paradise it once was. Reports from former staffers talk of how producers of the show aren’t even taking live callers anymore because the TSS audience is too geeky. X-Play is the only show from TechTV to make the transition relatively intact and with the same hosts and that’s because it was about video games.

Now they’ve dropped all pretense and announced that the network will be changing its name to G4 – Video Game Television and will be adding two new shows to the lineup: Formula D will cover the sport of “drift racing” which is gaining in popularity here in the states and Girls Gone Wired which will be some sort of a “digital beauty pageant” featuring various female video game characters.

Whoop-de-fucking-do.

The only show from the old G4 that I’ve felt was any good at all is Icons which presents half-hour documentaries on video game related topics. I don’t know who produces that show, but it’s surprisingly good and I’m hoping there are new shows planned. Beyond that I’ll watch Cinematech on occasion as it’s largely trailers and game play clips of games new and old that makes for an interesting distraction while eating dinner, but it’s nothing I make a point to watch. The only show on the channel I do make a point to watch is X-Play. Granted, I didn’t watch everything that TechTV produced either, but I was a fan of Fresh Gear (gone) and the occasional episode of Secret, Strange, & True (gone) which was the BBC series Horizons with a new name.

It was clear from the get-go that the merger was purely a means of gaining access to more audience share beyond Comcast’s own cable network. It was also apparent that the folks at Comcast didn’t have a clue about the composition of the TechTV audience or how much trouble they were going to have trying to appeal to it along with the audience they’d built for their own network. In the end it became evident that they not only didn’t care to try and make the TechTV fans happy, but were openly disdainful of them. Which is really a shame as TechTV had quite a devoted following. Now we have to sit back and hope that someone else will launch a channel to fill the void left behind by Comcast’s acquisition.

20 thoughts on “The death of TechTV is now complete.

  1. I have always had two words for “Cable TV” “Communist TV” – Even though I work for a phone company which also has cable. Trouble with cable is you are stuck with what they want you to watch.

  2. In a way I’m happy about this, because they’re not pretending what I once loved, was the thing I still loved.  On the other hand I’m sad, because that means this channel will not be coming back.  So for now, I shall remember the good times, Nerd Nation, Call for Help, The Screen Savers before it sucked, and Kevin Rose asking a male teenage caller if the reason he wanted to get past the parental blocks his mom set up was to do a little ‘surfing the pr0n’. 

    R.I.P. Tech TV.  downer

  3. Well, not sure I can explain, but..  With cable you only get the channels they want to supply. If the one you want is not there, too bad. I have 2 cable co in this area, neither has some of the channels that satellite has (which I have). Just think what could happen with maybe one or two national cable companies, or just two satellite companies, no difference. Satellite was the only way I could get CNN/FN – and they ended up going dark, I guess because it was too hard to be on cable, no growth! With Cable only one finance channel, with satellite, I guess four or five, even one out of China.

    I guess with the “Communist TV”, like in China, maybe, I would only get to see channels they thought were suitable for me, same here for cable.

  4. Les you forgot to mention that Martin Sargent’s show Unscrewed is still around. Definetly worth a watch if you are up late and into the whole internet meme types of things. Also if you’re a fan of Drew and Mike on wrif [local detroit radio] he does a lot of similar “And now we have John Doe here on the show who claims he is the ambassador of Mars” etc. etc. interviews.

  5. Personally, I think TechTV was heading for an end before the G4 came into the picture, but G4 certainly put the last and final nail in the coffin.  Their transitioning of TSS from a fairly useful show about PC’s, modding, and general Tech to “Hi, my name is Buffy, want to play a video game” was so obvious it’s not even funny.

    I’m glad to see that G4 is dropping the TechTV part of the name so that folks that have been gone for a while won’t think there might be something there that they used to watch.

    It’s a pity Paul Allen couldn’t have stuck with the channel, but I can understand the desire to explore space being stronger. smile

    It was fun while it lasted…

  6. Dakoda, even with satellite you’re at the mercy of the companies who provide it. Certainly they offer a greater selection of channels, but that’s mainly because they need to in order to compete with cable and not because they’re such friendly and nice people. There’s nothing stopping them from dropping one, two, or all of the CNN/FN channels if they should suddenly feel they have good reason to do so. You have no more control over what’s carried on your satellite service than I do with my cable service. I’m not especially beholden to cable TV, but I have good reasons for making use of it. The first being that it’s the same place I get my broadband internet from. I’m at the ass-end of the line for DSL and when we had that service it was slower and less reliable than my cable modem so I stopped using it. Overall my cable provider, Wide Open West, has been pretty good compared to the likes of Comcast and others I’ve used in the past.

    All of that is more or less moot anyway seeing as the problem here isn’t with my cable company, but with the decisions being made at what was once one of my favorite channels. You’re just as impacted by what I was ranting about as I am regardless of how you get the channel.

    Sepharo, Martin’s show was canceled on November 10, 2004. As of late they’re showing re-runs of Icons in the 11:30PM time slot.

  7. TELL ME WHAT COUNTRY WOULD SELL THEIR MASS MEDIA TO A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT?

    SO, IF THE PROGRAMING IS ROTTEN WHO CAN WE BLAME?

    THE ROTTEN REALITY TV PROGRAMING IS PRODUCED BY OUR ASIAN TV AND CABLE OWNERS SO THEY CAN BE AMUSED BY THE STUPID AMERICANS DOING ALL KINDS OF DI-DOOS TO ENTERTAIN THEM.

    THE MORE ROTTEN IS THE MOST ENTERTAINING.

  8. Hello,
    I am MAD AS HELL
    ZDNET/CNET should have held onto tech tv forever!

    List of Crap that killed tech tv (chrono)

    Loss of(these are just big ones that come to mind):
    John C Dvorak
    Kate Botello
    Leo And Patrick (WTF? How did they make this decision?)
    and many many more.

    LEO WAS TECH TV

    G4 was mindless crap and will always be mindless crap.
    TechTV was the finest network to ever grace tv one that was entertaining and educational!
    G4 does not deserve the Tech Tv brand attached to its shell of a channel.~Im for the name drop (the tech tv label is no more)

    ——-I HATE COMCAST——-

    RIP Tech Tv ~ one day you will return

  9. What the fuck u doin u crazy bastards i dont understand y the fuck u sit and get high and make ghosts please reply*givesfinger*

  10. I’m still trying to comprehend what the hell he’s talking about. I’m not sure, but I don’t think it has anything to do with this thread.

  11. To change back to the subject at hand…

    Anyone with an MP3 player can continue to “listen” to The Screen Savers crew by listening to TWIT (This Week In Tech). http://www.twit.tv/

    If you have iTunes 4.9, you can subscribe to TWIT via their Podcast links.

    It’s a Podcast that is actually a little better than the TSS show.

  12. I’m still trying to comprehend what the hell he’s talking about. I’m not sure, but I don’t think it has anything to do with this thread.

    Perhaps it’s a code.

  13. Perhaps it’s a code.

    Dunno, but running it through InterTran’s translation engine to try and convert it to English, didn’t help a whole lot…

    ” What love fuck u happening u weak deceived immateriality dont know y love fuck u depress with assemble unchangeable be composed of corpse prithee answer * soften touch * “

    *chuckles*

  14. *thinks to myself… I may be twisted… but I am NOT into necrophilia…*

    But to each his own… if he wants to go fucking corpses that he assembled… well… have at it Frankenstein… lol..

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