ESPN sells majority stake in X Games to private equity firm
ORLANDO, Fla. — It was not an easy road to make it all happen. The X Games are known as the largest and most prestigious amateur athletic competition held in the world. More than 700,000 people attended this year, and the Games attracted more than 26 million viewers on NBC, ABC, ESPN and Fox. The Games are also broadcast globally on Discovery, Eurosport, and in China, where the Games are known as the Seven Hills Tournament.
NBC, which owns the rights to the X Games franchise, bought the company in 2016 from cable giant Comcast. But this May, Comcast lost the rights to the X Games to a private equity firm, Blackstone Group. NBC, which still holds a minority ownership stake in the X Games, and which owns 21.6 percent of the company, decided to sell its remaining stake in the company.
Now, Comcast is attempting to sell its stake to another private equity firm, Oaktree Capital Group, for $1.4 billion.
NBC and Blackstone Group said the X Games will continue to operate under the same management, and Comcast says the sale will help to support its other sports assets that it owns.
It was not immediately clear whether private equity firms have a business relationship with the X Games or whether the two firms have worked together.
NBC first announced it would cut ties in 2016, when its ownership stake in X Games parent, parent company and parent company were combined into a single operating entity.
On the X Games side, the company was sold to Comcast and Comcast was acquired by NBC from Liberty Media in a merger.
The X Games has a multi-year contract with NBC and the company is committed to a series of improvements and enhancements to the X Games. It’s going to add to its Olympic bid committee. They’re also going to extend the Games to 12 days. They’re also going to create a new Games. They’re going to run a separate Olympics in the U.S. and they’re going to do an Olympic programming block on NBC and NBC