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ESPN Makes Multiplatform Push for X Games

For its 13th edition of the X Games, which runs Aug. 2-5, sports programming giant ESPN will cover the extreme sports action on every distribution platform available, including broadcast and cable networks, broadband delivery, and mobile and portable platforms.

 ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will offer 14.5 hours of X Games coverage, including sports such as BMX freestyle and men’s and women’s surfing. ESPN is also teaming with satellite operator EchoStar and its DISH Network service to offer a special interactive channel, ESPN Interactive X Games, which will let fans watch six X Games channels on one screen.

 There will be channels for X Games 13, the Best of X and four sport dedicated channels – Skateboards, BMX, Surfing and Engines. Fans can select the channel they want and view it in normal full screen format.

 On the broadband front, and will offer more than 40 hours of live streaming programming on the Internet, a combination of Web-exclusive and simulcast coverage from ESPN and ESPN2, including skateboarding and the “Moto X” motorcycle event.

 Apple’s iTunes store will serve as the exclusive source for downloads from X Games 13 and will have a dedicated section featuring free and premium content, including X Games-related music, videos, podcasts and athlete celebrity playlists. iTunes will also offer free X Games video content, including top X Games moments and video recaps of the events, and sell 14 exclusive long-form video packages which can be purchased individually for $1.99 or as a “Season Pass” for $19.99.

 In the mobile arena, ESPN and Qualcomm subsidiary MediaFLO will offer eight hours of live X Games coverage daily on EXPN — a special mobile TV channel dedicated solely to the X Games. That will supplement the live coverage of the X Games on ESPN Mobile TV, one of the eight regular channels available through MediaFLO, which is resold as Verizon V Cast Mobile TV. 

 Mobile coverage will include an innovative ‘double box’ segment, allowing viewers inside the car to see two rally car drivers compete side-by-side via in-car cameras. ESPN MVP, ESPN’s download-based mobile service which is also available through Verizon, will feature a dedicated content area that gives one-touch access to ESPN multimedia content from the X Games.

 “Digital media and the X Games are a natural combination,” said Rick Alessandri, Managing Director, X Games Franchise, in a statement.  “Like the athletes, the fans of X Games are active and on the go.  These media platforms are, in many ways, as important to them as traditional television coverage.”