The next X Games might add competitive gaming to its roster of extreme sports and may even stream on YouTube and Twitch. In a press release, MSP Sports Capital announced it acquired majority ownership of X Games from ESPN and is bringing aboard CEO Steven Flisler, who once served as Twitch’s vice president of original content and the executive producer of Twitch Rivals.
In a statement to The Verge, Flisler says he can’t “share the plans yet” but that the company’s “excited to integrate competitive gaming into the X Games brand especially at our live events.”
“We can’t wait to interact with ‘chat’ on Twitch and YouTube”
The company is also hinting at a new way to watch the event live online, specifically on Twitch and YouTube, noting it wants to “increase appeal to a digitally native audience seeking expanded access to athletes and community-driven content.”
This new ownership has me kind of excited to see what’s in store for the future of the X Games. I’ve always enjoyed tuning in whenever it aired on TV, but since I haven’t had cable for years now, I’ve largely forgotten that the event has even been happening. Putting it on Twitch and YouTube should at least help solve that.
Oh yeah, and Tony Hawk, who’s basically been the unofficial face of X Games since its inception, is also joining the X Games as a brand steward. Hawk has won a total of 16 medals at the X Games himself. (And since this is my only chance to talk about his awesome skateboarding abilities, I recommend you watch this Tony Hawk documentary if you haven’t yet.)
”When it comes to live content our vision is to build an epic storyline around the competition and then produce the right type of content for the right platform,” Flisler explains. “The action will stay the same, but the vibe and interactivity will be different and we can’t wait to interact with ‘chat’ on Twitch and YouTube.”
ESPN, which founded the X Games in 1995, now holds a minority, noncontrolling stake and has a “multi-year agreement” to remain its linear broadcast partner.
While the event typically has athletes facing off in skiing, snowboarding, Moto X, BMX freestyle, and skateboarding, its new owner may throw gaming into the mix. Next year’s X Games will take place in Aspen, Colorado, from January 27th to January 29th, which MSP Sports Capital says viewers can still watch on ESPN and ABC networks in the US.