Steffens added that many media companies are stressed financially, and staying afloat is considered a success. Expanding to new coverage is considered a luxury. It's much cheaper to work with an outside agency than to start your own division.
"It's all about transparency, fairness and accuracy," Steffens said. "If they can hit those core elements of what journalism about, then it isn't a bad thing."
Bob Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University's Newhouse School, is still skeptical. Though he acknowledges that sports coverage is often seen as somewhere between hard news and entertainment, he said there are topics within the sports world that do cross over to more serious reporting. He pointed to the domestic abuse scandals within the NFL.
"I think these kind of relationships make me really uncomfortable," Thompson said. "You simply say it's just sports, but (this is) like putting product placement in reality television."
While he did comment on the high quality of Red Bull Media Houses work, he was worried that issues may arise. For example, if an athlete sponsored by Red Bull was involved in a scandal, it may mean that the person may not be questioned about the controversial activities in Red Bull Media House coverage or Reuters itself may not cover the news item because of the partnership.
"It might be an interesting piece, it might be well produced, but I think there are some journalistic issues there that are of interest," he said.
A Red Bull Media House spokesperson said it would cover news topics regardless if it conflicted with the parent company's goals.
"We cover stories according to its editorial relevance, just as any other media company does; however, we always act with integrity, regardless of the nature of our relationship," the spokesperson said.
Reuters echoed the sentiment.
"Under the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles, Reuters has an imperative to produce independent, unbiased news content," a Reuters spokesperson said via email. "We believe our partnership with Red Bull will in no way affect our commitment."
Disclosure: CNBC subscribes to Reuters.
Update: Comment from Reuters regarding potential conflict of interest was added to this story.