Not long after TMZ Sports published the video of Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green clocking teammate Jordan Poole during practice Wednesday, speculation on how much the outlet paid for the footage began.
Anonymous Twitter account @incarceratedbob wrote “rumors are TMZ paid … $120,000.”
Over the course of our conversations with former TMZ employees since the Green-Poole video went live on Friday, each said it’s difficult to fathom the outlet paying the numbers being thrown around for this type of video.
These sources told Front Office Sports they believe there is no way the video even approached that rumored $120,000 number.
In all likelihood, the video may have even gone for less than $10,000.
TMZ doesn’t have much competition when it comes to obtaining such footage: It pays for this kind of content, and mainstream news organizations usually don’t. The outlet — which was created by attorney Harvey Levin in 2005 and acquired by Fox Entertainment last year — never discloses or comments on how much it pays for videos.
However, this reporter nailed down the $91,000 TMZ paid for the inside-the-elevator footage of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice assaulting his now-wife at a New Jersey casino in September 2014.
The Rice video was likely the most the site ever paid for footage of a sports figure, and it had immense news value compared to a practice altercation. Rice was suspended within hours, and never played in the NFL again.
That video put tremendous pressure on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who had suspended Rice for just two games. The NFL revamped both its investigative procedures as well as its domestic violence policy.
Levin and TMZ Sports’ small (but industrious) staff are plugged in source-wise, but the folks seeking to sell videos typically come via either TMZ’s tip page or the toll-free number featured prominently on its website.
From there, a person with knowledge of the process told FOS that the bargaining begins.
The next question in the Green-Poole saga is who sold it? The Warriors are currently investigating.
The consequences for Green, the Warriors and the NBA aren’t nearly as high, although Green told reporters on Saturday “there’s a huge embarrassment that comes with” the video getting out.
San Francisco police reportedly aren’t investigating Green for possible assault charges. Green’s multiyear deal with Turner Sports — where he makes appearances on TNT’s Inside the NBA — won’t be impacted by the scuffle, a person with knowledge of the situation told FOS on Friday.
Green’s public apology Saturday came after he apologized to Poole and the team after the incident. Green said he’d take a break from the team for a few days.
“I was wrong for my actions that took place on Wednesday,” Green said.