Looks like the next arena for celebrity gossip site TMZ may be sports — as in TMZSports.com, a domain registered by Warner Brothers’ Telepictures on Dec. 16. While TMZ PR declined to comment on “speculation,” a source close to TMZ tells Rafat that “Harvey has always viewed politics and sports as potential spinoffs, since both involve power, money and celebrity. One of his key lieutenants, Evan Rosenblum, is a big sports buff and may be involved.” (Update: As Steve notes in the comments, the domain was first registered in 2007; the current record started last week.)
It’s not clear whether TMZ would have a separate staff for a sports site. It currently breaks out news according to seven categories, including sports, alongside “celebrity feuds” and “celebrity justice.”
TMZ once planned a politics site focused on DC gossip, but ultimately decided to concentrate on its TV property instead. Meanwhile, Sports By Brooks suggests that TMZ is getting more heavily into sports since it sees an opportunity to fill a gap left by ESPN (NYSE: DIS), which tends not to concentrate too heavily on the sordid side of the news. TMZ certainly has experience in sports gossip; in recent examples, the site was ahead on much of the Tiger Woods accident coverage and has been reporting on Chris Henry’s death intensely.
A visit to TMZSports.com either brings up an “under construction” message or, more curiously, a Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) page saying “service is temporarily unavailable.” TMZ is no longer part of AOL (NYSE: AOL) following this month’s split from Time Warner (NYSE: TWX). According to WHOIS, TMZSports.com is registered to Warner Bros-owned Telepictures, AOL’s former partner in distributing the site.