G4, the Comcast Corp.-owned video-game and gamer-lifestyle cable network,
announced Wednesday that it has formed "an extensive marketing and programming
partnership" with interactive-software firm Electronic Arts Inc.
That deal is centered on the "2003 EA Sports [John] Madden Challenge," a
national football-video-game tournament, and the "Madden NFL 2004" video-game
franchise, G4 senior vice president of distribution and sales Dale Hopkins
G4 will take the Madden Challenge on a bus tour to 32 cities, starting Aug.
23 in Chicago and concluding in January in Las Vegas, where the tourney victor
will win a $50,000 cash prize.
G4 -- which will support the Madden Challenge with heavy on-air,
cross-channel and online promotional support -- is offering cable affiliates on
the tour circuit the opportunity to become local tournament sponsors. The
systems can tie-in with a marketing spot promoting their digital and high-speed
The first affiliates to sign on are Cox Communications Inc. in Las Vegas and
Cleveland; Time Warner Cable in Cincinnati, Minneapolis and Green Bay, Wis.;
Comcast Corp. in Pittsburgh; and Bright House Networks in Indianapolis, G4
During the tour, G4 will produce 530 hours of "Destination Madden"
programming, encompassing various existing G4 shows and two Destination
Madden specials, due in January.