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Winter X Games expanding to Europe in 2010

Extreme winter sports are not just an American phenomenon. To prove it, ESPN, CANAL + Events and Tignes Ski & Snowboard Resort will launch the first Winter X Games Europe next year,  March 10-12.

The event will be the first Winter X Games held outside the United States (though the original  U.S. version of the Winter X Games will take place in Aspen, Colo., Jan. 28-31, 2010). The European event will bring together ESPN’s world class X Games franchise with France’s leading pay TV broadcaster and the local expertise of Tignes. A definitive list of the world’s top winter action sports athletes will be invited to France to compete for medals and prize money. There will be eight different competitions over three days, including Ski and Snowboard SuperPipe and Slopestyle for men and women as well as a Snowmobile demonstration.Extreme winter sports are not just an American phenomenon. To prove it, ESPN, CANAL + Events and Tignes Ski & Snowboard Resort will launch the first Winter X Games Europe next year,  March 10-12.

The event will be the first Winter X Games held outside the United States (though the original  U.S. version of the Winter X Games will take place in Aspen, Colo., Jan. 28-31, 2010). The European event will bring together ESPN’s world class X Games franchise with France’s leading pay TV broadcaster and the local expertise of Tignes. A definitive list of the world’s top winter action sports athletes will be invited to France to compete for medals and prize money. There will be eight different competitions over three days, including Ski and Snowboard SuperPipe and Slopestyle for men and women as well as a Snowmobile demonstration.

“We are delighted to work with ESPN and the X Games team to bring the Winter X Games to Europe,” said CANAL + Events CEO Jean Louis Dutare. “As for soccer, rugby and many sports, CANAL + Group will consider X Games as a global project, including TV, Internet and mobile. In a Winter Olympic year, and only a few weeks after athletes have competed in Vancouver, fans in Europe will again be able to watch the top names in the world compete head to head.”
 
”Nothing could be more justified than Tignes as the host resort of the first Winter X Games Europe. Tignes, the sportiest European ski resort, is always at the forefront of action and freestyle winter sports,” said Tignes Ski & Snowboard Resort Manager, Sebastien Merignargues.

Rick Alessandri, ESPN Senior Vice President and Managing Director, X Games Franchise said,  “Working with CANAL + and Tignes, and drawing on more than 10 years experience of running the Winter X Games in the United States, we are excited to bring winter action sports fans in Europe the best action sports event they will see in 2010. This first event outside the U.S. reflects the continued global growth of the X Games franchise as well as the progression of action sports in Europe.”

CANAL + Networks (CANAL +, CANAL + SPORT, Sport +) will show the Winter X Games in France and French-speaking territories (Caribbean, French speaking Africa) live (or on-delay) so that those unable to come to Tignes will be able to see the event.  ESPN will be responsible for all distribution outside of France.

As for X Games origins, ESPN first developed its X Games franchise in 1995. The X Games, Winter X Games and All Access are just some of the original action sports programming currently shown on ESPN and ESPN2. In addition to the two U.S.-based events, ESPN has held X Games competitions and demonstration events around the world, including Dubai, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Korea, Malaysia, China and Spain.  The global franchise has also expanded its reach to both XGames.com and ESPN.com/action, the definitive sites for action sports fans, and to consumer products such as X Games bikes, protective gear, skateboards and DVDs.

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