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ESPN Considering X Games Sale

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SPN are considering selling their X Games franchise in further cost-cutting measures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As reported by Tom Dotan and Jessica Toonkel from The Information, ESPN are open to two scenarios in the potential sale of X Games, which comes as the US sports network lay off more staff due to a decline in broadcast viewership numbers.

In scenario A, ESPN would reportedly sell the broadcast rights to the X Games, but continue to handle production, and in scenario B, ESPN would sell the intellectual property to the X Games.

According to the report, ESPN were hoping for a sale worth approximately USD$100 million (AUD$130.5 million), however it is predicted the second scenario may be worth closer to USD$50 million (AUD$65 million).

Viewership statistics are yet to be released from the latest X Games held in Aspen and are likely to be key in determining ESPN’s actions.

As the popularity of OTT platforms rise further, ESPN is re-considering its cable TV business, and focusing rather on its ESPN+ streaming platform.

Forbes revealed that ESPN’s ratings dropped to a 41-year low in 2020 due to the suspension of sport, however the US network was still profitable.

The Information also reported the network is predicted to announce new deals with the NFL and MLB, with the NFL rights expected to significantly increase in price.

ESPN are yet to comment on the report.