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ESPN’s X Games Sees Hefty Audience Growth on TV and Digital

(Image credit: ESPN)

BRISTOL, Conn.—At a time when some major sporting events like the Olympics have been reporting disappointing ratings, similar problems did not plague the return of ESPN’s X Games Summer Competition in mid-July. 

The event was cancelled last year as a result of the pandemic but in its July 2021 return,  ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC experienced double-digit viewership increases on television and triple-digit growth on @XGames social and digital media platforms, ESPN reported on July 26. 

X Games 2021 telecasts, totaling 15.5 hours of content, saw a 13% bounce in TV viewing versus X Games Minneapolis in 2019. 

On the social media front, X Games 2021 delivered more than 105 million video views – a 439% increase from X Games Minneapolis 2019 – and 326 million impressions across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, which drove an increase of 318% versus 2019.

Following the success of X Games Aspen 2021 on TikTok, X Games once again teamed with the platform to stream 17 competitions and feature a #XGamesMode banner on the TikTok discover page from July 14-16. This resulted in 1.9 million live views on TikTok, adding to the total X Games 2021 livestream views of 6.75 million across all social platforms.

X Games 2021 also delivered more than 105 million video views (+439% from 2019) and 326 million impressions (+318%) across its TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat

The #XGamesMode hashtag on TikTok added more than 400 million views over the week of X Games 2021 and has currently surpassed 2.2 billion total views

Internationally, X Games 2021 was syndicated in 192 countries and territories and to more than 500 million homes.

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.