R.I.P. International X-Games. ESPN has announced that they will no longer be running X-Games events in Barcelona, Munich, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil and Tignes, France. As you might expect, the International X-Games cancelation means more job cuts are coming to ESPN.
Despite this news, ESPN states they are still committed to their X-Games coverage in Colorado and Texas.
You might have seen this move coming. The good folks over at Deadspin detailed that one ESPN producer had been complaining about financial hardships connected to International X-Games events six months ago. Apparently budget negotiations were difficult inside ESPN and the network had difficult selling local sponsorships where events were going to be held.
Here's the official memo from ESPN on the International X-Games cancelation:
ESPN today announced it will not continue with X Games events in Barcelona, Munich, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil and Tignes, France. We are proud to have run world-class competitions for both the athletes and spectators; however the overall economics of these events do not provide a sustainable future path. The company remains fully committed to the X Games brand and its full-scale competitions in Aspen, Colorado and Austin, Texas – its newest host city – and we will continue to distribute these premier events around the world.
So, this wasn't an annual event that ESPN decided to pick up the rights. It was a self-created quasi-competition that was developed strictly for ratings, and when those didn't deliver, it was cancelled.
How is that different than prime time network TV?
Now if only NBCSN would have better coverage of the Dew Tour. BMX, Freestyle Motocross, Skate Vert, Street Downhill, and Bowl competitions are all very fun to watch when nothing else is on.