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Monday Night Smackdown! G4, Spike Duke It Out Over Dudes

MoJoe pits the presidents of the guy-centric networks against each other

Spike TV president Kevin Kay and G4 president Neal Tiles may need to duke it out over a few rounds of Halo.

Speaking to TV MoJoe Monday about Spike’s 2010-11 slate, Kay seemed to scoff a bit at the notion that another network aimed at dudes — Comcast’s G4 — really constitutes much competition.

"G4 is … I’m sorry, but it’s for 12-year-olds," Kay told us when asked whether the Viacom-owned Spike’s efforts to broaden its audience to include more older men (in TV terms, older means between the ages of 35 and 49) were in part a reaction to the tough competition for young male eyeballs.

"The videogame business is a wonderful business," Kay added, a swipe at G4’s roots as a gamer channel. "We’ve got some videogame shows. But it’s a very small audience. We have the opportunity to go after men 18-49. … We think we can go beyond the 18-34s and find an audience that’s a little broader."

Oh, snap! (To use a phrase nobody under 34 probably understands.)

We couldn’t just publish Kay’s body slam without giving G4 a chance to respond. So we called up Tiles, who quickly got on the phone to respond.

"I think (Spike’s) average age is already 41," Tiles told MoJoe, noting that the typical G4 dude is just 34. "I don’t know how they broaden out when they’re already older."


Tiles also notes that G4 long ago moved on from being a network about videogames (it has shows about other bro-tastic interests, including gadgets, gambling and girls).

"We haven’t been about videogames exclusively for five years now," he said.

Tiles also repeated a pitch no doubt familiar to any advertisers who’ve been visited by the G4 sales crew: "No network is both younger and more male than G4," he said.

"There are networks that are younger, and networks that have a higher concentration of males," Tiles added. "But if you look at the intersection of viewer age and viewer composition … G4 is right there. The facts are the facts. I’m not sure what (Kay) is talking about."

To be fair to Kay, the Spike chief got on the phone with MoJoe to talk about his new slate — not to pick a fight with G4. And his remarks about G4, while dismissive, were made in a semi-joking manner.

But with upfront season in full gear, look for sales reps at both networks to deliver similarly blunt messages about each other during their respective conversations with advertisers.

Next up on MoJoe Monday Night Smackdown: The CW’s Dawn Ostroff takes on ABC Family’s Paul Lee in a cage match over young women.