Sometimes in life you just cannot please everybody. Everyone knows that ESPN’s rating are decreasing by the day and they need to do something before it is too late, one of their efforts was to air a TV show hosted by Dan “Big Cat” Katz and PFT “Grit” Commenter, who are the co-hosts of the podcast Pardon My Take. The show drew a lot of viewers in the Male 18-34 range demographic, which is a demographic that ESPN is trying to get back.
The primary reason the show was cancelled was because of the content of Barstool Sports, according to ESPN, but that was not the main reason. The main reason the show was cancelled was because some ESPN employees, who either had personal agendas to further their career or had vindictiveness against Barstool Sports, started complaining to management and forced them to do something.
Barstool Sports founder Dave “El Pres” Portnoy had criticized Sam Ponder in the past for on air performance. Portnoy did not like how much Ponder showcased her kid on the set of College Gameday and criticized her for it. She waited three years to get back at Barstool and did so by tweeting out the article the night before the launch of Barstool Van Talk
Portnoy has said that he stands by what he said and personally I kind of agree with him. When you show your kid every time you are on the air, you are bound to get some criticism, she should have known that before showcasing her kid. The tweet by Ponder caused a firestorm inside ESPN HQ and they had to do something to please their employees, so they cancelled the show.
Portnoy and the rest of Barstool Sports addressed this right away and they fully understand why ESPN had to do what it did.
Big Cat and PFT commenter have not yet addressed the situation outside of Twitter, but the next episode of Pardon My Take which comes out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings will be a must listen to see how they address it.
I am a listener of Pardon My Take, I have not missed an episode on over a year, so the news of today are kinda personal to me, I hear the voices of Big Cat, PFT, and their producer Hank more than most of my family every week. All over Twitter I see sports media heads saying that Barstool has created a misogynistic white frat bro culture, which is simply not true. I am a brown Indian that loves sports and religiously follows Barstool Sports, but I am not misogynistic or part of the white frat bro culture. Casting broad spells about a website has resulted in people losing a TV show they really worked hard on.
Barstool Sports is not misogynistic, but yes it has said some things in the past that they probably want to take back. I will be the first one to admit that I have said a lot of things that I ended up regretting, but that does not mean I am going to be punished for it for the rest of my life.
ESPN was trying to get back some of the viewers that do not watch ESPN anymore and are cord-cutters, well I am a cord-cutter myself and do not plan on watching ESPN anytime other than when my teams are playing on it.
So what exactly did ESPN achieve by cancelling a show that has some of the most loyal fanbase in sports media?