In recent weeks, ESPN announced it would air a show starring two contributors to the at-times controversial website Barstool Sports, a decision that drew the attention of the sports media industry.
The show featured Dan "Big Cat" Katz and a man known only as "PFT Commenter" - a name he created himself as a satirical online poster.
The show was met with controversy from the very beginning.
On Monday, Barstool Sports president David Portnoy had a press conference to address the situation with ESPN, and partly blamed a small uprising started by Sam Ponder, who waited 24 hours before their premiere to call out Barstool for a sexist article they wrote about her years ago.
The reaction from elsewhere on the internet was strong and swift. We are doing a show with Big Cat and PFT, and we do have final say on the content of that show, ' " Carter wrote. But the announcement that Pardon My Take, an irreverent and clever podcast that was essentially repurposed for video as Barstool Van Talk, was met with significant backlash within ESPN, some of which became public. 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. We just talk, shoot the s-t, try to be amusing, don't let PC America get the best of us, and we'll continue to do that", Portnoy said at the podium in front of a backdrop littered with the Barstool logo.
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Sam Ponder, the host of ESPN's Sunday Morning Countdown, took to Twitter on October 17 to criticize ESPN for working with Barstool.
She also recalled an alleged uncomfortable encounter in Bristol, Connecticut, in 2008 with one of the males who was at the strip club with her.
Even some of ESPN's own employees had a problem working with Barstool. Skipper didn't cite Ponder's complaints about Katz' blog, but it is likely that the issues she raised, played some part in the network's decision. "She got the show canceled". Despite this seemingly large investment by ESPN-and an average viewership of 88,000 viewers-the sports network cancelled the show when they realized that the Barstool team wouldn't alter their humor to meet the network's standards.
"From what we heard, there was a mini uprising", he said.