Building courses, finding judges, dealing with athlete health and safety and scheduling concerts that, increasingly, became a major draw to the events takes a staff of more than 1,000. By selling the majority stake while remaining invested in the enterprise, ESPN will step away from that part of the endeavor but will still focus on its core mission — televising sports.
“We’re proud of what we’ve created with our employees and the athletes over nearly 30 years of world-class X Games events and content,” said Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of ESPN and Sports Content.ADVERTISEMENThttps://96c9bb10734ab4b342e5e9339eef14c7.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Stepping in will be MSP, which will take over the production of the contests, and is expected to reshape the digital offerings for an event that skews to a younger, content-craving audience.
“Our vision for the X Games tomorrow, next year and a decade from now is simple — we want to create a global action sports community of athletes and fans where we push the limits of competition and entertainment,” said Steve Flisler, who becomes the new CEO of the X Games.
Flisler has been an executive at Twitch, a streaming service that is best know for its live streaming of video games, and also was in leadership positions at NBCUniversal.ADVERTISEMENT
He said the mission at the X Games is to create “a content engine that gives fans more ways to interact and get hooked to athlete stories.”
“X Games athletes are competitors first but increasingly will become some of the most influential content creators across the globe,” Flisler said.