Pictured, right: A bucket of scum.
According to credible sources, and resources beyond our wildest dreams on the Internet machine, we have nothing new to add on the breaking news that TMZ.com has a sports site (linked here).
Others, however, want to report on it. We will allow that.
Starting with the Sports Business Daily, and linking directly to the New York Times (linked here), the headline “TMZ Site Dedicated to Sports Is Expected” seems already outdated. Again, see the TMZ link above. It’s there.
The Tiger Woods story, regrettably, has pushed this need for more athletic rumor mongering. We’re all trying to measure ourselves up to Tiger’s game. Now we have a scoreboard.
The NYT says a TMZ spokesperson would not comment on the report that the gossip site plans to launch a new Web site dedicated to sports in the coming months.
It quotes former ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber as believing that TMZSports.com will create additional competition for fans who crave ‘celebrity scandal, sports-style.’ She described how ESPN especially “would be faced with a difficult decision over how far to go to cover the unsavory side of sports.
“If another outlet caters to the celebrity approach, ESPN cedes that territory and loses eyeballs. But if they directly compete, they risk altering their own mission as a sports media entity.”
The NYT also quotes Deadspin.com editor A.J. Daulerio as saying he’s not worried that his site … would be hurt by TMZ.
“I don’t want to get into a bidding war with them. … If I’m going to pay for something, it has to help our traffic in the long run,” he said.
On to ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser, who on the most recent “Pardon The Interruption” calls TMZSports.com a “gamechanger. … Athletes are going to hate this. They’re going to see what it’s like to have been a politician or an actor or actress in this country for many, many years. The scrutiny is going to be amazing, and all their peccadilloes will be reported. … Obviously through Tiger Woods, they know that there is a demand. They’re going to send the paparazzi out.”
Added Michael Wilbon: “I don’t know that TMZ is going to be interested in your average lineman who wouldn’t even be known outside his own city.”
Who else can we steal quotes from?
Oh, on SportingNews.com, Dan Levy wrote the new site will “be fantastic.”
Those are the words we were looking for.
On Deadspin.com, Daulerio wrote (linked here) under the headline: “TMZ Sports: Prepare For The Next Great ‘Tabloid War’ Or Something”:
“Does this mean that every single person on the planet with a raunchy photo of athletes drinking or sliming over women will now run over to TMZ first because they’ll offer some payment for these types of photos? Yikes. … If I have to start being more aggressive about using this burlap sack of scuzz money I have sitting on my desk, then so be it.”
Adds Brooks Melchior on SportsByBrooks.com (linked here):
“So why is (Harvey) Levin is starting TMZSports.com? If you have to ask that question, this must be your first visit to SbB.
“Look at ESPN. With the majority of our only truly national sports network’s revenue derived from contractual agreements to broadcast NFL, MLB, NBA and NCAA hoops and football games, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that ESPN’s news reporting operation could be compromised by those financial arrangements.
“Say a sports blog breaks an original story that portrays one of ESPN’s league partners in an unflattering light. Because ESPN doesn’t have to fear another national network competitor widely distributing that blog’s story – because no such competitor exists – why would ESPN acknowledge the story? (Happens every single day, friends.)
“That’s where TMZSports.com will come in. Harvey Levin doesn’t have to worry about a college football broadcast contract worth hundreds of millions when investigating Charlie Weis’ on-the-record claim that Pete Carroll was living with a grad student in Malibu. Levin doesn’t have to worry about getting press credentials to future USC games, or getting access to Carroll for interviews.
“Most importantly, Levin has the desire and the ability to distribute what he finds out about Carroll’s living arrangement to a large enough audience that the story will break through into the mainstream. Something independent sports blogs with huge scoops are largely incapable of.”
It’s the end of the sports journalism world as we know it, and I don’t feel fine finally being able to say: Nice knowin’ ya.