WWE originally placed a bid to purchase G4, but NBC/USA rejected the price, and offered a Joint-Venture,instead WWE chose to go alone and (so far)got no where.
Comcast/NBCU/USA decided to scrap continuation of original content of the G4 network in favor of ''Esquire ''; a brand & Network created for man fashion,travel and lifestyle .
"In pursuit of that same demo [as Bravo, E! and Oxygen], Style presents brand overlap within our portfolio," Bonnie Hammer noted in an internal memo explaining the surprise decision, which will result in layoffs and an employee reshuffling.
When the Esquire Network launches later this month, it will do so not on G4 but rather on the Style Network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The decision to rebrand the latter — a tightly guarded secret until this morning — comes as NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group chairman Bonnie Hammer looks to better define the brands in her cable portfolio. Of the many female-skewing networks in her purview, Style has been the least distinct, with programming that overlapped with offerings on E! (71 percent overlap), Bravo (69 percent overlap) and younger-skewing Oxygen (58 percent overlap). By removing Style, the remaining three women's nets should be able to better serve their respective audiences without that added level of brand confusion. For Esquire, the move enables the forthcoming men's lifestyle net to launch on a considerably larger platform. Style is not only better situated than G4 on the cable dial but also in more than 75 million homes compared to G4's 62 million. The rebrand will still take effect Sept. 23.
The strategic move comes some seven months after NBCUniversal's suite of cable networks was put entirely in Hammer's control. Prior to that, Hammer oversaw only half of the portfolio (cable nets including USA, Syfy and E!), with Lauren Zalaznick in control of the remaining networks (Oxygen, Bravo, Style). At the time of Hammer's February promotion, there was speculation that she'd look to make sense of the glut of female-skewing networks at NBCU. After all, one of Hammer's known strengths is her ability to create or more clearly define brands, as evidenced by her work with both top-rated USA and Syfy.http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...network-624127
Thus far this year, Style is averaging 79,000 primetime viewers in the 18-49 demo, which is fewer than Oxygen (217,000), E! (345,000) and Bravo (582,000).
Unlike its duplicative predecessor, Esquire is designed to fill white space. For several months, the men's lifestyle network has been peddled to both Madison Avenue buyers and Hollywood producers as an opportunity to reach a more mature, upscale and affluent male demographic — or in Esquire parlance, the "modern man." The pitch suggests that the network will fill a void left by more tough-minded, testosterone-heavy men's networks such as Spike and History. Much like the magazine with which it's affiliated, Esquire will focus on a host of different genres, from travel and fashion to food and beer.
So now the G4 Network has zero network programming plan conveniently at the same time WWE and Comcast/NBCU/USA enter into Television Contract Rights renewal talks for both RAW & SmackDown .
It should be noted at the same time WWE Network has gotten no takers by any major Telecom Companies,Vince said in the WrestleMania 29 Earnings Call that he wants to Double TV money spent by Comcast/NBCU/USA to $150 million.
However WWE is likely going to have to give up something in return but in this case given NBC runs Television Networks every day,has power over Telecoms for distribution(and is own by a Telecom Company Comcast), and limited up front financial risk, it could be a major win for WWE.
This more of a ''NBA TV'' style of licensed deal(Time Warner/TNT/Turner Networks controls NBA TV, not the League itself ) for involving converting the G4 Network into the WWE Network is probably the best for the chance for the WWE Network, and WWE can also comeback to renegotiation the terms of the WWE Network overtime after NBC does the heavy work.