I think film better shows an athletes talent and the creative aspects of skiing much better than a competition does.
From a ski companies standpoint, the point of sponsoring athletes is to give their skis exposure on the feet of talented athletes. A competition happens once, and may be watched more than once on the internet or on tv with shitty substandard quality and commercials. A video may be watched many times by a potential customer, and so gives the brand greater exposure than does a competition.
The reason that high profile competitions like the XGames still exist is that they are showcases for brands. ESPN would not carry them if it could not make money from the coverage (commercials, payment from event sponsors). Skiing is simply being used as the intertainment that keeps the viewers glued to the screen between ad spots. I can tell you for a fact that Taco Bell does not give a shit about what is happening in the sport of skiing, and neither does ESPN. They are in it because they see money to be made, not a soulful experience to take part in.
Well made videos take a massive amount of time, money, and energy to make. Production companies, from the large such as Level 1, The Bigger Picture, and Plehouse to smaller outfits such as I Hate NY, 4bi9, and Meathead (just to name a few) are interested in skiing, because they are skiers. These production companies are still creating artistic and intriguing films, while a large portion of the ski film industry has fallen into the realm of big budget and slow mo (MSP, TGR, Poorboyz), elements that can be found in any big time action sports video.
Video requires a synthesis of talented skiing as well as talented filming and filmmaking. Just as ski photography is an art in and of itself, so is ski videography. The emphasis on competitions is a bad thing for the athletes as well as the productions companies, and I would challenge the industry to step back and reevalutate its priorities in this regard.
The White Room Mountain Shop
Don't let them fool you with the milk and honey, no, they only want your money.