March 22, 2018

ESPN cancels 'Barstool Van Talk' after one episode amid controversy

25 October 2017, 12:59 | Kristopher Drake

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Sam Ponder

"Barstool Van Talk" - which included original shorts, interviews, and took place in a van named Vanny Woodhead - had courted controversy for ESPN since the network announced the show earlier this month.

ESPN was 100% on board with bringing Barstool Sports on with "Barstool Van Talk" on ESPN2, until they weren't anymore, so they cancelled it after one show.

The show was hosted by Dan "Big Cat" Katz and PFT Commenter, two members of the Barstool community who are also the hosts of the wildly popular sports podcast, "Pardon My Take".

According to Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch and Chris Chavez, Skipper received a number of emails last week from ESPN employees who were upset at the partnership with Barstool. They smartly thanked their "award-winning listeners/watchers" and took a philosophical approach, quoting an unnamed guru who said: "success isn't owned, it's leased".

The personalities behind the series and the "Pardon My Take" podcast released a statement expressing disappointment about the news. "Although we are heartbroken, Pardon My Take will continue to get bigger and stronger every single day".

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"While we had approval on the content of the show, I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content", ESPN president John Skipper said. "How stupid were you to think you could get Barstool without getting Barstool?"

Later in the episode, "SportsCenter" anchor Scott Van Pelt visited the Barstool van to talk up the evolution of ESPN's content strategy and the run of bad beats he's been contending with in his weekly National Football League picks.

After Sterger came forward, some Barstool supporters suggested she was likening ESPN to Barstool, despite not having knowledge about Barstool's inner-workings. People were not happy about that move in the least bit, taking to Twitter in support of Hill and her honesty and her right to free speech. We attacked her, and she waited three years to drop revenge on our head the night before.

Really, ESPN? You thought that if you put Barstool dudes on the air, they would suddenly embrace Disney's family-friendly attitude?

"It sucks the show is off, but for the future and the confidence of this company, there is nothing ESPN actually could have done to illustrate why we are rising and why they are falling".

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