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ESPN signs up Scandinavian broadcasters for X Games’ European return

US sports broadcaster ESPN, which organises the X Games, has agreed multi-year rights deals for the action sports franchise in Denmark, Sweden and Finland which include coverage of the new X Games Oslo event in Norway.

The agreements with DR, SVT and YLE, the respective public-service broadcasters in Denmark, Sweden and Finland, also include coverage of the X Games Aspen and X Games Austin events.

DR, SVT and YLE will each deliver a combination of live and highlights coverage of X Games Oslo, which is being held from February 24-28. X Games Oslo will feature snowboard, ski and skateboard competitions – the first time both summer and winter sports will be contested internationally in the same city at an X Games event.

DR will provide coverage to fans throughout Denmark on DR3. SVT will provide live coverage of X Games Oslo on both SVT and SVT Play. The Saturday and Sunday broadcasts will also be integrated within the flagship SVT Vinterstudion. YLE will provide a minimum of 10 hours of live X Games Oslo coverage on YLE2 and will stream all event coverage live on Yle.fi.

ESPN said the first group of Scandinavian television partners will be joined by other broadcasters around the world in coming months, as discussions continue with potential distributors.

“This distribution agreement gives us the opportunity to show our most important winter markets that we are the world winter capital,” Bente Holm, chief executive of Visit Oslo, said. “ESPN also gives us fantastic exposure and a great opportunity to do tactic marketing at the same time in the same markets. This means a lot for us.”

In addition to these partners, ESPN and Norwegian commercial and pay-television broadcaster TV2 will each distribute 21 hours of live coverage.

The X Games is returning to Europe after ESPN finalised a deal in August with 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.