X Games digital audience up big
In the lead-up to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, X Games Aspen viewership — both via traditional television and digital platforms — was up substantially compared to last year while in-person attendance was the second highest in the event’s history.
January’s Winter X Games in Aspen — the 17th consecutive year the event has been held at Aspen’s Buttermilk Mountain — saw a 10 percent increase year-over-year in television viewership compared to 2017. With that, X Games viewership on ABC was up 28 percent compared to last year. And with viewers aged 12-17, television viewership during the event was up 33 percent across all of the ABC and ESPN networks.
The event’s digital numbers saw a striking spike, as the number of minutes streamed on the X Games YouTube channel nearly tripled in 2018, up 185 percent.
The total number of video views on X Games YouTube channel was up a similar amount year-over-year, 183 percent.
ESPN, the media company that runs the X Games, also added that during the January event week there were nearly 12,000 X Games-related social media posts that, in total, generated 53.8 million social media interactions. And ESPN added that nearly one of every four interactions was driven by an athlete’s social media content.
As for the X Games event’s own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, video engagement was up to 10.6 million views as Instagram drove 92 percent of total “actions.”
The total on-site attendance for the 2018 event was 115,000 — the second highest in X Games Aspen history — though the event set a record for its largest Friday attendance, with 32,000 spectators.
In a titanic battle of 35-year-old local superstars, John Gaston outdueled Simi Hamilton on Saturday to win the fourth iteration of the Snowmass 50 mountain bike race.
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