Warner Brothers’ Telepictures Productions and Harvey Levin, the evil geniuses behind gossip media juggernaut TMZ, are developing a sports-focused spin-off of their nascent media empire, according to a report from Brooks.
The move isn’t exactly a guarded secret — a basic bit of domain WHOIS snooping shows anyone that Telepictures Productions, the Warner Bros. division that started TMZ as a joint venture with Harvey Levin, have purchased the domain TMZsports.com (currently parked). And while there’s no formal confirmation from Telepictures of Levin yet, behind-the-scenes there are plenty of people in the sports media world who’ve known about the project for weeks.
In his report, Brooks, true to his views on ESPN and their impact on sports media, says that TMZ Sports could pose the first significant threat in recent memory, stealing audience from the Worldwide Leader™ by covering of all the stories that inquiring male minds want to know about that ESPN won’t touch with a ten-foot boom mic. Levy counters on The Sporting Blog that the new Comcast/NBC tie-up represents the biggest threat to the ‘s dominance. I need to brush up on my bad media metaphors — did David kill Goliath with content or pipes?
Whether or not TMZ Sports becomes the Magic to ESPN’s Larry will remain to be seen; but it’s yet another narrative that promises to make 2010 a fascinating year in sports media.