ESPN in an effort to capture millennials canceled “Barstool Van Talk” after one episode after viewer backlash.In an effort to stem subscriber loss, ESPN chief John Skipper signed “Barstool Van Talk,” starring two guys joking in the back of a van and talking sports while also making offensive remarks about women.
The Disney-owned sports network has come under fire recently for firing show hosts while letting anchor Jemele Hill stay on the air while violating the company’s code of conduct. Hill returned to the air Monday after being suspended for calling on advertisers to boycott the Dallas Cowboys.
“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,” Skipper said Monday in a statement on the network’s Twitter feed. “We appreciate the efforts of Big Cat and PFT Commenter. They delivered the show they promised.”
Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy said the move would not have an effect on his company, while taking a jab at ESPN.
Portnoy said the show’s cancellation points to one of the biggest problems for the sports network. He said this demonstrates why ESPN is losing viewers while Barstool continues to grow.