ESPN To Drop International X Games Extreme Sports Competitions, Reduce Workforce
ESPN said on Thursday that it will end the int'l versions of its X Games extreme sports competitions "because it could not make money on the events," according to Liana Baker of REUTERS. The sports cable network owned by Walt Disney Co. will be cutting an unspecified number of jobs related to the Int'l X Games, "which took place in cities including Barcelona, Munich, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil and Tignes, France." The Int'l X Games "had been broadcast on ESPN's flagship U.S. channel and its sister network, ESPN 2." The U.S. X Games, "which take place in Austin, Texas, in the summer and Aspen, Colorado, in winter, will continue." An ESPN spokesperson said, "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." Regarding the related job cuts, ESPN said, "Changes of this nature require difficult decisions, including the elimination of some roles. Under the two-event model ESPN will require a smaller workforce to stage and support the events" (REUTERS, 10/3).