Television programmers may have finally invented a show with the excitement of the Home Shopping Channel, the fast pace of C-SPAN, and the visual impact of those color bars the TV stations cut to at 4 a.m. On selected cable networks, you can tune in to a live broadcast of the classic video game Pong--nonstop paddle and bouncy-ball action, 24 hours a day.
The broadcast is the brainchild of G4, a new cable channel devoted to video games. It already has 7 million basic-cable subscribers on systems including that of its corporate owner, Comcast Corp.
According to a G4 spokesman, the Pong marathon is "just a stunt" until the station launches May 1, when the channel will shift to all-original programming. The new shows include Arena, in which teams of players compete in multiplayer games to the play-by-play commentary of ex-Star Trek actor Wil Wheaton, and Players, in which celebrities discuss their favorite games.