ESPN is not having a great year.
What happened now?
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The struggling cable sports channel has taken another hit, abruptly ending a partnership to do a podcast with the satirical and often offensive Barstool Sports after just 10 days.
Why did ESPN agree to the deal to begin with?
Good question. ESPN President John Skipper seems to have realized the decision to team up with Barstool Sports, a media outlet known for its abrasive and inflammatory sports coverage, was a mistake. But why did ESPN wait until a week into “Barstool Van Talk” to reverse course when its own employees weren’t happy about it to begin with?
The New York Times reported:
While several ESPN employees have appeared on “Pardon My Take” in the past, it was clear before the first episode of “Barstool Van Talk” that the partnership was in trouble. ESPN received intense pushback internally from employees once rumors of a partnership with Barstool started circulating around the company’s campus in Bristol, Conn. Executives apparently pushed those concerns aside.
ESPN is trying to walk a fine line – retaining fans while sticking to their politically correct beliefs. That’s why they’re struggling.
“They’re grasping for anything to help stem the tide of viewers running from ESPN and cable,” Glenn said. “They got caught making a show with unapologetic sexists and now they’re trying to save face.”