G4 To Acquire Original Series, TNG Syndication RightsBy Michelle
December 19, 2005 - 6:34 PM
Comcast's G4 network is near to acquiring US syndication rights for the original Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
CNN reported on the deal, which would give Comcast the opportunity to greatly widen the appeal of its G4 network, currently targeting video gamers. The original Star Trek thrived in syndication for many years after NBC cancelled the series in 1969 and was later broadcast in extended editions with commentary by the Sci Fi Channel. Spike TV currently holds broadcast rights to Deep Space Nine and Voyager, while Enterprise is in its first run of national syndication.
CNN sources suggested that Comcast is attempting to reposition G4's brand, much as Paramount did with UPN when it switched its target demographic from young men to young women. G4 may undergo a name change in an effort to recruit more male viewers, not just gamers.
"Video games are the core of G4's programming strategy," said a G4 spokeswoman. "They are the foundation and basis of our network. Any programming we add to our slate will be attractive to a gamer audience and serve the male 18-34 demographic." Star Trek has spawned more than 70 video game titles, so it would seem to be a suitable fit.
It is believed that G4 will run both series on weekdays, likely including a prime-time broadcast. Since Spike TV still has broadcast rights to The Next Generation, there will be time restrictions on when both networks can broadcast episodes.
The original article is at CNN.