ESPN Sells Controlling Stake in X Games to MSP Sports Capital, Which Wants to Expand Digital Livestreaming of Events
ESPN has sold a majority stake in the X Games — its 27-year-old extreme sports event franchise — to private-equity firm MSP Sports Capital.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. MSP will assume day-to-day operational control of the X Games business, which will spin off from ESPN. ESPN Productions Inc. will retain a minority, non-controlling stake in X Games, and ESPN will continue to serve as the U.S. linear broadcast partner as part of a multiyear agreement inked in conjunction with the transaction.
“We’re proud of what we’ve created with our employees and the athletes over nearly 30 years of world-class X Games events and content,” Jimmy Pitaro, chairman, ESPN and Sports Content at Disney, said in a statement.
With the deal to take over X Games, MSP Sports Capital recruited Steven Flisler to be CEO of X Games. Flisler most recently served as VP of original content at Twitch and executive producer of Twitch Rivals, streamer-vs.-streamer esports competition series, since 2018. He also held leadership positions at NBCUniversal for more than a decade, producing live broadcasts across linear and streaming platforms.