ESPN has chosen Los Angeles to be the site of the next two X Games and the
Staples Center to be the primary venue for the competitions.
Under terms of the two-year agreement with Anschutz Entertainment Group,
owner and operator of the Staples Center, events in the bike stunt, moto X,
skateboard, aggressive in-line skate and speed climb disciplines will be held
inside and around the facility Aug. 14 through 18.
The moto X freestyle event will be held in theLos Angeles Coliseum
under the lights Aug. 15 or 16, while wakeboard, skateboard street and downhill
BMX events will take place the prior week at locations still to be
Miami was the other finalist city bidding to host the X Games, according to
an ESPN spokeswoman.
There was no word about what MSO or cable operators would be involved
promotionally with the X Games in Los Angeles.
Comcast Corp. -- which saw its First Union Center in Philadelphia represent
the primary site for the 2000 and 2001 X Games -- trumpeted its affiliation with
the events in a variety of ways, promoting newer technologies, including
high-definition television, as well as its fledgling video-game-themed digi-net,
"We are talking to all of our affiliates in the area about promotional
opportunities," an ESPN spokeswoman said. She could not offer a time frame as to
when any such alliances would be struck.
Unlike Philadelphia, Comcast's home market, the Los Angeles DMA is served by
a number of MSOs: Adelphia Communications Corp., Charter Communications Inc.,
Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications Inc. and Comcast, the latter through its
recently completed merger with AT&T Broadband.
Comcast, in fact, serves the area that is home to the Staples Center.
It was unclear at press time whether Comcast's previous X Games partnership
with ESPN contained clauses that afforded it the right to participate in future
competitions or to match bids from other potential MSO partners.
Last summer, Comcast officials told Multichannel News they had some
discussions with ESPN about continuing the partnership in future years, perhaps
in other Comcast markets.
Executives at the MSO did not return calls by press time.
AEG is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Corp. and a company that
ESPN has done business with before.
The Staples Center hosted the ESPY Awards earlier this year.
And last January, ESPN and ABC Sports inked an agreement with Major League
Soccer investors, led by Qwest Communications International Inc. founder Phil
Anschutz, for five years of coverage of the men's pro-soccer league, as well as
the 2002, 2003 and 2006 World Cup competitions.