ESPN has informed its on-air talent for the X Games that the production and operations for the event will no longer solely be handled by ESPN. The annual summer and winter action sports competitions will now be produced by an external production company in conjunction with a unit at ESPN. It's unclear what that means for the faces who have brought you the competition.
When contacted by SI, ESPN PR gave the following statement: “As a company, we have enormous and varied production needs across a huge range of sports and events. We are always looking at how to meet those production needs in the best way. This change allows us to redeploy personnel into other marquee properties and introduce new resources that will benefit all of our projects. The X Games brand and content will continue to be driven out of Bristol."
ESPN does use outside production companies for some of its programming, including the ESPYs and New York City Marathon coverage.
The inaugural X Games were held in 1995 in Newport, R.I. to capitalize on the popularity of action sports. A Winter X Games was ultimately added to the summer competition. This year's Winter X Games were held last January in Aspen while the Summer X Games were held in Austin in June.