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DNF: Snocross at the Upcoming X Games


(9/29/2011)

X Games Snocross RIP

I'm told that snocross won't be part of the "entertainment package" at the upcoming ESPN X Games. Joining snocross in the spectator-only category will be Speed & Style.

Snowmobile-related events that are still part of the X Games venue include freestyle and best trick.

Sounds like there was budget cutting going on at ESPN, with a reduction in total air time for the entire event.

Frankly, I'm not entirely surprised by the announcement, as snocross appeared to be the only true form of racing that existed at winter X Games. In addition to being a legitimate sport, snocross required more than 2.7 seconds of viewer attention to "understand."

Indeed, any youthful viewership tuning into snocross was required to stop texting for a few minutes and actually watch a race. It was a lot to ask from the audience, apparently, thus the decision was made to retain only the events that can be consumed in less time than it takes to hit "send."

If you can't already tell by the sarcasm, I consider this a loss for the snowmobile industry, as the one sled event that had the only serious clout was snocross.

But I like to be a glass-is-half-full kind of guy. So I'm hopefull the snowmobile racing industry can move beyond this bottle of television whiskey and start drinking from something more fiscally sustainable and that showcases all that's great about sled racing.

What that is, exactly, remains to be seen.

Any ideas?



Comments (38):

paarctic says:
9/29/2011 3:29:00 PM

Wow. That is a real shame. The ONLY reason I watch X games is for the snocross racing and I bet a lot of riders are in the same boat. Hopefully this doesn't greatly affect snocross racing because, as consumers, we benefit from the product developed on the track.
Kenny says:
9/29/2011 3:55:00 PM

I bet Polaris is behind this, they were tired of getting there butt kicked by Tucker and the other boys in Green!! Stupid Polaris!
Jeff says:
9/29/2011 4:04:00 PM

They just didnt want Tucker to be the first to six peat in gold medals which sucks for T-Train not to have the chance. The coverage of snocross at the X-games has dropped off in the last couple years so you could kind of tell the end was coming. To me freestyle and best trick are fun but mindless to watch. Hopefully ISOC will fill the hole in the schedule with a big race.
jimu@sledracer.com says:
9/29/2011 4:36:00 PM

Maybe this will free up Tucker Hibbert to race the Red Lake I-500.
Hal Armstrong says:
9/29/2011 4:41:00 PM

I agree the dominance of Tucker just made it boring. It was like F1 this year. Sebastion Vettel for Red Bull wins all the poles and all the races. Boring as hell.

Sled racing needs to change it up. I always liked the oval/snox race they ran at Eagle River. If a guy got behind in the bumps he could make it up on the track
Cheppding says:
9/29/2011 4:53:00 PM

I hope the big "3" speak up and let ESPN how unhappy they are about this... because I know I'm pissed!
flintstone says:
9/29/2011 5:17:00 PM

that sucks... I really looked forward to that every year. sno x is a tough buisness though.. My friend and good riding buddy tried to have sno x races for a few years and lost 10's of thousands of dollars doing it..cross country was no better for him either, he had those and they wanted him to pay them.. so now in the winter his 550 acre facility sits idle. sold his snowmaking equipment to levi and sold off all of his grooming equipment..
revzone says:
9/29/2011 7:41:00 PM

maybe racers from mid-west should come to valcourt the biggest race in canada!
Pdw says:
9/30/2011 6:12:00 AM

let's just face it. X-Games itself is dying, it had to cut costs somewhere. I watched this summers X-Games and it was the worst I have ever seen in both production value AND entertainment.
No one cares anymore. For purists, X-Games was only about skateboarding/inline/bmx, and snowboarding in the winter. We've been lucky that motorsports were even ever included.
But, it does show the direction things were going. Years of Multi-million dollar budgets renting out the coliseum, and staples centre, with a steady decline in viewership and interest lead to decisions like this.
Brad M says:
9/30/2011 9:47:00 AM

Its no different the SPEED channel, they show anything BUT racing. I'm sure the "big guns" at ESPN are trying to figure out an event that would involve the cast of Jersey Shore or some other goofy show, wait I should stop before I give away too many crappy ideas. Racing is an art liked by a knowledgeable, select, group, not for the mindless. Maybe FUEL TV can make their own version of X games that consists ONLY of motorized sports. I'll help get it started..."FUEL Games". John, I know what your going to do today.
artdcat says:
9/30/2011 9:50:00 AM

No reason to watch Winter X at all then. Big, big mistake. Snocross made Winter X what it is. Did "board cross" or whatever it is exist before snocross hit the scene? If it weren't for snocross, best trick & freestyle wouldn't exist. Snocross is where it's at....the rest can go home.
Cindy Roper says:
9/30/2011 10:16:00 AM

All i can say it is nosense in watching X-Games this winter. Its going to stink. Would love to see the racing. Maybe they will come to their senses. The only one losing, is thereselves. You take one time away and it really makes sales go away. Snowmobiling has grown and it because of all the awesome racers we have and the way they make them look. (Fast)
Let all pray they bring it back....
Cat House says:
9/30/2011 11:34:00 AM

Well looks like i have no reason to watch X-Games this year. What a bunch of bull.

It's time the manufacturer's come together and create an ALL Snowmobile channel. I mentioned this to people up at HayDays. Can't count on the Outdoor channel cause that might as well be the Hunting channel.

I want a channel that has snowmobiling stuff all the time. Everything from slednecks to actual shows like sledhead 24/7.

Let's get some momentum going for this !!!!!!!!!!!!!1
david says:
9/30/2011 2:01:00 PM

Leave it to the viewers to vote!!!! It will prove that viewers want to see sno-x!!!!
Croloff says:
9/30/2011 2:06:00 PM

Dear Cody,

Thank you for your e-mail.

We appreciate you taking the time to write and share your thoughts with us. We have shared your comments with the appropriate personnel for their review and consideration.

Sincerely,

Mario
ESPN Viewer Response

I emailed espn and I let them know that i was very unhappy about it and that I would be avoiding winter x games this year because of there actions. I think that you all need to do the same and repost to other sites to email them also! we need to bring the demand!
Cat House says:
9/30/2011 2:35:00 PM

Good advice Cody, i just emailed them too.

They need to hear how pissed we are.

We don't have to sit around and take it. Viewers are the only reason the X-Games exists, so if enough viewers complain, things can happen.

I will not sit idely by while this sport we all love gets canned.
Dulpher says:
9/30/2011 5:54:00 PM

Im hoping USCC is talking to the OEMs to try and get all those Pros to race the I500!!!
AKrider says:
10/1/2011 5:41:00 AM

I initially heard about this on a forum. I think it is a mistake. I've had a winter ritual for many years to watch the sno-x at X-games, I won't be looking for X-games now because I don't care about watching stale, one year old, FMX style back flip variations in freestyle or best trick. Even though I didn't care for the way X-games focused on only one or two riders, it was always exciting because it was a race and you never knew what the out come would be.

I don't care for the judged events and will not be setting aside time to watch or record the X-games. I guess it doesn't really surprise me as Sno-X has died out in our community. Our club no longer hosts the only other state series sno-x event in AK because it was a money loser. Maybe the OEM's can use the money they planned to spend on X-games and direct it towards XC. I firmly believe Cat has the best value for a 600cc race sled in XC this winter. They've got the 500cc class locked up and I really hope that class grows.
Quinton says:
10/2/2011 5:37:00 PM

Sad decision. The younger generation need to be trained on attention span. They lack in this category significantly. I too hope this will be revisited and overturned.
arcticfury says:
10/3/2011 10:09:00 AM

I would love to see T-Train throw his hat in the I-500, he would dominate any thing he put his mind to plus it would just be good for the sport to get the industries biggest name into cross country racing!
Snomocrazy says:
10/3/2011 6:25:00 PM

I agree with every one of these posts. Not only the end for Winter X but also have you seen that ISOC has not scheduled the race at Utah (RIO TINTO STADIUM) They have not even come out and explained why this event will not be at this venue. And yes I for one will not waste my time to watch any of the X games this year.
Greg W says:
10/3/2011 9:58:00 PM

That is VERY dissapointing news. ESPN is was the only TV coverage worth watching... I can't stand the Amsoil "Infomercial" that Versus passed off as "snowmobile racing" last year.

I guess I won't be watching any ISOC events this year
CRJPilot says:
10/3/2011 10:10:00 PM

From the way I undestand it, Winter X Snocross will happen, it just wont be televised. They will probably just take 60 seconds to show the highlights.... the start, couple big name rider crashes or passes and the finish line jump! As far as getting the top riders to compete in the I500, I doubt they will as the Xgames will still take place. Medaling in the Xgames and bragging rights are everything. Hopefully ESPN reconsiders!!!!
ryanol says:
10/4/2011 9:54:00 AM

x-games is more about tricks than racing in in just about every discipline.
Fred says:
10/7/2011 10:42:00 AM

Wow! well I guess we already know the winner without watching anyway. Tucker has the win in the bag!
Rusty says:
10/24/2011 8:19:00 AM

ESPN is a dying channel,, it will only be maybe 4-5 more yrs before they are 100% LIBERAL backed and will no longer be allowed to use the earth as their grounds for any kind of sports competition thanks to the greenies out there,,,,,,,

It would be interesting to see Tucker in the I-500 (BOTH of them!)
bob says:
1/12/2012 9:14:00 PM

Now there's no reason to even watch X-games...WOW ESPN :S
Daniel says:
1/13/2012 12:20:00 AM

Sno-X at X was also a part of their racing schedule. i wont be suprised if they dont even race come late Jan. ESPN is just lights and cameras. I'd rather see NBC sports air the Winter X Games.
David says:
1/27/2012 7:20:00 AM

This is the first time in 7 years that I will not watch the X-GAMES. So much for the party and tradition.
mike says:
1/28/2012 9:41:00 PM

Thanks espn.just ruined x games for me.only thing on now is bunch of punks doin same tricks over and over.absolute bs.
Steve Simmons says:
1/29/2012 3:50:00 PM

How do you have events like skicross and snowboard cross and take out snocross. The best trick snowmobile is lame it requires very little stamina and you only have to concentrate for about thirty seconds. ESPN should look at motorcycle racing how many people pay to see the best trick as compared to the supercross or motocross races. It gets old seeing the same old tricks time after time and there are very few new trick to make it worth while. ESPN is going downhill anyway I hope the x games and ESPN both have to fold pure stupidity on both of their parts.
t71-racing says:
1/30/2012 12:41:00 AM

Bannnnn espn
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