The X Games action sports franchise is to return to Europe after organiser, US sports broadcaster ESPN, finalised a deal with Norwegian commercial and pay-television broadcaster TV2 to stage an event in Oslo.
The X Games has remained in the US cities of Austin and Aspen since ESPN took the decision in October 2013 to drop events in Barcelona, Munich, Foz de Iguacu, Brazil; and Tignes, France in order to concentrate on events in the US.
However, in April of this year, it was revealed that organisers had entered into talks with TV2 and the Norwegian Ski and Snowboard Association regarding the possibility of staging a winter X Games event in Oslo. Having struck a formal partnership with the Norwegian governing body, TV2 was required to agree a hosting contact with ESPN in order to stage an event.
ESPN has now confirmed that the deal has been finalised and an X Games event will take place in the Norwegian capital from February 24-28, 2016. The event will feature various summer and winter disciplines including snowboard and ski big air, snowboard and ski superpipe, as well as skateboard street. Oslo’s X Games will mark the first time both summer and winter sports will be contested at the same event.
ESPN and TV2 will each broadcast 21 hours of live coverage of the Oslo event. TV2’s coverage will be available to audiences in Norway while ESPN will broadcast the event in the US via ESPN3 and as part of its ‘World of X Games’ series on the ABC network. Coverage will also be broadcast worldwide on ESPN International networks and distributed to other outlets globally via ESPN’s media distribution arm.
“We are going to create a sports celebration in Oslo in order to draw young people to both the arenas and the TV screen,” TV2 director of news and sports Jan Ove Årsaether said. “Now it's time to look forward to a top-class event.”
The event will be organised in collaboration with the City of Oslo as well as local organiser SAHR Concepts.
Hallstein Bjercke, Oslo's Vice-Mayor of Cultural Affairs and Business Development, added: “Oslo is going to be the winter sport capital of the world, and we look forward to having the world's elite in Oslo in February. I'm confident this will inspire young Norwegians to strap into skis and boards and get out to the hill.
“We support X Games Oslo to show new aspects of the sport city Oslo, and we would like to present Oslo as the world's best compact arena for culture and sports.”