L.A. Marks X Games Spot

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ESPN has chosen Los Angeles as the site of its next two X Games extreme-sports competitions, and the Staples Center as the primary venue for events.

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 under the lights of the Los Angeles Coliseum Aug. 15 or 16, while wakeboard, skateboard street and downhill bicycle motocross (BMX) events will take place during the prior week, at locations still to be determined.

There was no word about what MSO or cable operators would be involved promotionally with the X Games in Los Angeles.

Comcast Corp. — whose First Union Center in Philadelphia was 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 diginet, G4.

"We are talking to all of our affiliates in the area about promotional opportunities," an ESPN spokeswoman said.

Unlike Philadelphia, where Comcast is based, 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.

Comcast's X Games deal did not provide for matching rights to other MSO partner bids.

"Our contract was fulfilled," said director of special projects Melissa Kennedy. "Corporately, Comcast won't do anything, but that's not to say the local system wouldn't be interested. I don't know what the priorities are there in terms of rebuilds or whatever, but the X Games is a great family event." She said over 250,000 attended the 2002 event.

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