Media

ESPN may sell off this prominent brand in order to get less political

FiveThirtyEight Politics Editor Michah Cohen, FiveThirtyEight Statistician, Author and Founder Nate Silver, and FiveThirtyEight Senior Political Writer and Analyst Harry Enten speak onstage at the Nate Silver and FiveThirtyEight: The Election Playoff Preview panel presented by ESPN during Advertising Week 2015 AWXII at Nasdaq MarketSite on September 30, 2015 in New York City. (Andrew Toth/Getty Images for AWXII)

ESPN is still trying to get out of politics, and its latest step may be to sell one of its most prominent brands.

The Big Lead reported Friday that ESPN is looking at selling FiveThirtyEight, a data analytics site that often covers politics.

“FiveThirtyEight is a tremendous asset to ESPN, and together we’ve created exceptional content,” an ESPN statement to The Big Lead read. “We are exploring, with Nate [Silver, the editor-in-chief], a variety of options for the future, and any discussion of what that might look like would be premature.”

FiveThirtyEight rose to prominence and was purchased by ESPN after Silver’s successful coverage predicting the outcome of the 2012 presidential election for the New York Times.

In 2016, however, FiveThirtyEight’s final projection gave President Donald Trump only a 29 percent chance of defeating Hillary Clinton. That percentage was higher than a majority of major polls.

ESPN has openly stated its intention to return to being a sports-focused network after a year of being embroiled in various political controversies. The company has trained its personalities and implemented a social media policy to place boundaries on public political expression ESPN platforms and online.

The Big Lead reported that potential landing spots for FiveThirtyEight could include The Atlantic or a move to ABC News, another network under the Disney umbrella along with ESPN.

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