ESPN Looking Into Possible Sale of Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight

“We are exploring, with Nate, a variety of options for the future,” an ESPN spokesperson tells TheWrap

Last Updated: January 25, 2018 @ 12:50 PM

ESPN is looking into the possibility of selling FiveThirtyEight, the political analysis website headed up by statistician Nate Silver, a person familiar with the matter tells TheWrap.

According to The Big League, which first reported the possible sale, there is “significant interest” from potential buyers in the site, best known for accurate election predictions based on analysis of opinion poll data.

ESPN confirmed that it is looking into different options for the future of FiveThirtyEight, but said any talk of a sale is “Premature.”

“FiveThirtyEight is a tremendous asset to ESPN, and together we’ve created exceptional content,” ESPN said in a statement provided to TheWrap. “We are exploring, with Nate, a variety of options for the future, and any discussion of exactly what that might look like would be premature.”

Founded in 2008, FiveThirtyEight developed something of a cult following for its quantitative-based election predictions in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections that proved highly accurate. Silver ran FiveThirtyEight as a New York Times branded site from 2010-2013. ESPN bought FiveThirtyEight in 2013 and relaunched it in 2014 with its focus expanded to include economics, sports, science and health, and cultural trends as well as politics.

The 538 news is only the latest shakeup at the company. ESPN has been without a permanent leader since chief John Skipper abruptly resigned last month. Rumors that CNN president Jeff Zucker might be called in to replace Skipper have been repeatedly shot down by Zucker and CNN.

In November, 2016 ESPN laid off 150 employees in a bloodbath bit of cost trimming.