Friday marks the start of this year’s annual Winter X Games – right after what felt like the hottest week South Africa has experienced in a very long time. Go figure, right? There’s only one problem. Neither DStv nor Showmax Pro is broadcasting any of the weekend action. Sorry, did we say problem? What we meant to say was that the fact that DStv or Showmax Pro aren’t broadcasting the games is the best thing to happen since the toaster. Why? Well, we’re getting there.
American readers currently in America won’t have any trouble finding the events. They’re being broadcast on ESPN and ABC – which is why you might have thought that either of DStv’s own ESPN channels might feature the games. But there’s actually a pretty big reason why MultiChoice didn’t secure the rights for the upcoming slew of games. It’s because the entirety of the event is being live-streamed on both YouTube and Twitch. For free. Yup, you read that right.
Unless you’ve got plane tickets and hotel accommodation to actually go and watch the games in Colorado – the home of the Winter X Games for the past 22 years – there are no other ways to watch the matches live from the comfort of your boiling (hopefully not leather) South African couch.
The first set of games taking place on Saturday in America is actually only hitting South Africa’s streaming screens in the early hours of Sunday morning. But we’ll refer to the games by the day they’re being played in the US, just to keep things simple.
Saturday’s coverage kicks off with the Ski Knuckle Huck, which is basically an SSX Tricky mission to see who can score the most points on the Big Air jump. That’ll only last for twenty minutes before moving on to the Men’s Snowboarding SuperPipe event. Closing out Saturday’s coverage is the Women’s Ski Big Air event. According to ESPN’s US schedule, the games are running from 9:30 PM – 12:30 AM ET time. That means South Africans will need to be up bright and early for a 4:30 AM – 7:30 AM start on Sunday morning, 29 January to catch the day’s events. Recaps will be available on the X-Games YouTube channel, in case you don’t feel like getting out of bed.
Later that day (for South Africans), there is Sunday’s official lineup of games. There is a more extensive list of events to take in if Saturday’s games weren’t enough to scratch that extreme sports itch. The games are split up, meaning the first round will take place on Sunday evening for South Africa. The latter half of Sunday’s games only premier on Monday morning (again, for South Africans).
The first of Sunday’s games is the Men’s Ski Slopestyle, followed by the Women’s round of the same event. That’s only a two-hour session – one hour for the men and one for the women. That’ll start at 7:30 PM and end at 9:30 PM on Sunday evening, 29 January for any watching South Africans.
Later on is the Men’s Snowboard Big Air, with the Women’s Snowboard Big Air taking place straight after that. Ending off Sunday is the Women’s Ski SuperPipe. To watch these, South Africans will again be stuck with matches starting off at an unlikely hour. Coverage in SA starts at 5:00 AM on Monday, 30 January, and ends two hours later at 7:00 AM. That’s perfect for a quick watch before heading back to work for the week.
Heading into the final day for American coverage (though some matches will be played on Tuesday morning in South Africa), we’ve got the Women’s Ski Slopestyle, Women’s Snowboard SuperPipe, and the highlights of the Special Olympics to end that part of the day’s events. That’s all happening during waking hours for South Africa, with the games kicking off at 8:00 PM and ending at 11:00 PM on Monday evening, 30 January.
After a few hours of sleep, the games return with another Knuckle Huck (snowboard this time), the Men’s Ski Big Air, and lastly, the Men’s Ski SuperPipe. These are the last you’ll see of the Winter X Games until January 2024, so you might want to make the most of it. Match coverage for these events only takes place the following morning in South Africa, Tuesday 31 January, with the first game starting at 4:30 AM, and ending three hours later at 7:30 AM.
The X Games official website hasn’t yet listed the links you’ll need to catch the event on Twitch or YouTube. They’re coming – but only on an unannounced day sometime this week. We’ll update this article when the links are live and ready for you to view. If you’re bored now and can’t wait, you can check out X Games’ official YouTube and Twitch channels to see some coverage from years gone by.