Stan Kroenke, the billionaire owner of the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche, is in the crosshairs of controversy for launching a streaming service that shows big-game hunting to subscribers in the United Kingdom. My Outdoor TV, part of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment’s Outdoor Sportsman Group, was available in the U.S. last year but only recently launched in the U.K.
Similar to the way Netflix operates, My Outdoor TV promises “thousands of hunting, fishing and shooting episodes” for $9.99 a month. With that, subscribers can view shows that follow hunters chasing big game around the world.
The release in the U.K. was met with backlash, which included rebuke from British politician Jeremy Corbyn. The Labour leader told the Guardian he was “appalled at the glorification of killing wild and rare animals on this TV channel."
He also called out Kroenke, the majority shareholder of London’s Arsenal F.C., saying he was disgusted by the seventy-year-old’s affiliation with “such a brutal, unethical and unnecessary activity."
“Blood sport is a contradiction, and there should be no place on television or anywhere else for it,” Corbyn told the publication.
Simon Barr, a spokesman for My Outdoor TV, defended the channel and claimed that it will only show “ethical hunts.”
“MOTV will present ethical, fair chase hunting, and as long as it’s legal it will be on there,” he told the U.K.’s Independent . “If you like hunting elephants, there will be legal elephant hunts, ethical elephant hunts, shown in that context.
“I’m sure people won’t like all the content on MOTV, but it won’t be censored,” he added. “On every film, there’s an explanation of what hunting does for conservation and the local community.”
In a clip, hunter Mike Rogers shoots a lion in Africa before celebrating. The shot “felt good,” Rogers tells the viewers. “I knew it felt good and everybody is celebrating, and you know, we’re all excited.”
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In another, hunter Jana Waller stalks game with a bow and arrow in Dark Continent Quest, according to the Guardian.
Philippa King, the chief operating officer of the League Against Cruel Sports, scoffed at the channel's claim to show ethical and fair hunting. "Most people won’t agree that trophy hunting is in any way ethical, and studies have debunked claims that most of the blood money goes towards supporting conservation,” she told the Guardian. “I’m not sure in what way an idiot with a gun against an elephant is a fair chase.”
Online petitions have also circulated, calling for the boycott of the service. On change.org, a site dedicated to online petitions, a movement labeled “Boycott Stan Kroenke's trophy hunting channel in UK...” claimed to have 7,219 online signatures by August 3.
Requests for additional comment from Kroenke Sports and Entertainment were not immediately returned. KSE also owns the Los Angeles Rams, the Colorado Rapids and Altitude Sports and Entertainment, to name a few.