ESPN Cancels Barstool Show After One Episode

Skipper: ‘I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content’

ESPN cancelled Barstool Van Talk after one episode Monday.

The sports network, under pressure for its politics following the suspension of anchor Jemele Hill, said it couldn’t distance itself from some of the opinions expressed on Barstool Sports’ edgy website and Pardon My Take podcast.

The show had its premiere on Oct. 17.

“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 in a statement. “Apart from this decision, we appreciate the efforts of Big Cat and PFT Commenter. They delivered the show they promised.”

ESPN had said Barstool Van Talk would feature original digital shorts, guest interviews and comedy sketches, including an “exit interview” taped in the back of a 1993 conversion van. Content from the show was to be featured across ESPN’s digital and social platforms including ESPN.com, the ESPN App, ESPN’s YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The show’s stars on Twitter said they were disappointed by the decision.

“We had a great time working on the show and were extremely excited about the future. Thank you to all the Award Winning Listeners/Watchers for supporting us and thanks to all the great people who worked alongside us at ESPN and Embassy Row,” said a tweet signed by Big Cat, PFT and Hank of Barstool Sports.

“Although we are heartbroken, Pardon My Take will continue to get bigger and stronger every single day . . . In times like these, we remember what a great philosopher once said: Success isn’t owned, it’s leased. And rent is due every day.”

Pardon My Take has been critical of ESPN and some of its staffers, who objected to ESPN getting into business with Barstool because of sexist remarks about women at ESPN.