By Jeff Todd
DENVER (CBS4)– The premiere of an app giving users access to hunting and fishing shows has received so much outrage in the United Kingdom, Stan Kroenke has personally responded and ordered the controversial content to be removed.
The MyOutdoorTV app launched in Britain last weekend. Celebrities like Rickie Gervais and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn are among the vocal group outraged by the hunting shows, which reportedly show elephant and tiger hunts.
Kroenke owns the popular London-based football club Arsenal. He also owns Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, along with the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and Colorado Rapids.
Fans in Colorado caught wind of the U.K. outrage late this week.
“I was shocked, it’s relatively shocking people would be televising elephant hunts on any channel,” said Jason McKenna, a Colorado Rapids fan. “Ricky Gervais, a big animal rights advocate, I’m sure he’s sincere. Jeremy Corbyn, an Arsenal fan and politically active, I think those are people who are sincere in their advocacy and their distaste for him as an owner.”
The MyOutdoorTV app is available in the U.S. and is part of Outdoor Sportsman Group, a subsidiary of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment. Outdoor Sportsman Group is based in Denver and runs a variety of TV and magazines around the hunting and fishing genre.
The cries and outrage from the U.K. have been loud enough for Kroenke to personally respond.
Outdoor Sportsman Group President and CEO Jim Liberatore said in a statement, “While many on both sides of this issue have made their voices heard, and this content is only available through paid subscriptions, Stan Kroenke has directed us to remove all content related to those animals in light of the public interest.”
Liberatore’s statement goes on to say Outdoor Sportsman Group has no association with Kroenke-owned sports teams and the content decisions by the group are made independently.
“Hunting and fishing enthusiasts turn to our programming because we serve their interests. They turn to our programming because we depict legal, fair-chase practices. We recognize our content is not for everyone, and we respect those alternative viewpoints,” read the statement.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.