Disney 'set to sell off X Games to Najafi investment group'
Action sports - 24 Jan 2022
Disney, the US-based international media heavyweight, is set to sell off the X Games, the annual action sports event hosted, produced, and broadcast by Disney-owned sports broadcaster ESPN, to a group of investors, according to reports.
The event, sports business media in the US has reported, will be sold to a group of investors led by The Najafi Companies (headed up by Jahm Najafi, part-owner of the Phoenix Suns NBA basketball team), with TNC having reportedly signed a letter of intent to purchase.
MSP Capital, a firm that Najafi also chairs, is also said to be a signatory.
ESPN and Disney have been looking to shift the event for some time, with media reports last January that it would be willing to accept bids of $50 million for the games’ intellectual property rights.
TNC already has investments in multiple sports teams and properties, including soccer outfits in Germany, Spain, Portugal and Belgium, as well as the Suns and motorsport heavyweights McLaren (in which it holds a 15% stake through a $247-million deal in December 2020).
It has been reported that the X Games transaction will close towards the end of the first quarter.
The 2022 X Games took place over the weekend (January 21-23), in Aspen, Colorado. Many of the events were only shown live via the games’ own social media accounts, with a select few covered by ESPN and sister network ABC.
The event was broadcast in 192 countries and territories and to over 500 million homes, ESPN said at the time.