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.


More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.