Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke orders cancellation of bloodsports content on his hunting TV channel following public fury

 
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Kroenke ordered the removal of bloodsports content (Source: Getty)

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has ordered the controversial TV channel My Outdoor TV (MOTV) to remove all of its bloodsport and trophy hunting content, following vociferous public criticism.

Over 50,000 Arsenal fans signed a petition demanding Kroenke step down, while public figures including England cricketer Kevin Pietersen and leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn have criticised the American tycoon.

MOTV is a subsidiary of the Outdoor Sportsman Group, which sits alongside Arsenal as an asset of the Kroenke Sports and Entertainment company. It was launched in the UK last weekend.

Some of its programmes feature big game hunters on expeditions to Africa where endangered elephants are killed.

Read more: Stan Kroenke lifts lid on why Arsenal prioritise business foundations over spending big on transfers

Outdoor Sportsman Group president and chief executive Jim Liberatore told the company's shareholders that MOTV has editorial independence from its parent company, but that "in this one instance" they had followed his orders to remove certain programming.

"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," said Liberatore.

"Outdoor Sportsman Group properties operate independently from unrelated companies that our parents own - as do all of the parent's other business and sports interests.

"Arsenal Football Club has nothing to do with any of our media outlets. It has nothing to do with our content or the editorial decisions we make.

"We deserve no credit when an Arsenal striker scores a goal. Arsenal deserves no criticism when we offer a program with which some disagree."

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