ESPN has had a hard time finding a way to make money off the games since the expansion announcement in May 2012. A memo sent six months ago from an ESPN producer hinted that the future was bleak for the games.
I'm going to be completely honest with you: this global X Games series is far from a sure thing long-term. Financially, things are extremely difficult. I have personally banged my head against the budget wall for countless hours, especially on this event. Every negotiation has been exhausting, trying to wring every spare reais out of it.
In the same memo, employees were asked not to ask for overtime, and use the per diem to buy essentials like water, aspirin, sunscreen and snacks -- none of which would be provided to them otherwise, save for emergency rations.
An ESPN executive said that the network was having a hard time selling "local sponsorships in markets that have less familiarity with our brand and event," which eventually led to axing the international games.
As a result of the cancellation, even more positions at ESPN will be eliminated. The sports media giant has not disclosed how many. The network does intend to hold the domestic X Games, though, despite financial trouble of its own.
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