Nate Silver: Expect long-form content, not real-time analysis, at ESPN

Nate Silver

If you’re expecting Nate Silver and his team to break into ESPN’s baseball broadcasts with running predictions about the game in progress based on their expert data analysis, you’ll be disappointed.

Nate SilverThe plan is to go with more a daily magazine-type vibe. “We’ll be more like Grantland. We won’t go moment to moment, we want to win the long game,” Silver said in an interview Thursday morning after his keynote at at Hubspot’s Inbound 2013 conference. His recipe calls for something like three or four long feature-like posts per day, as well as even longer-term visualizations, with some shorter hits as needed.

As for in-programing instant analysis, ESPN already has a “huge stats and info” team that does a lot of that, he said.

In July, news broke that Silver, famous for “calling” the 2012 presidential election results, was leaving the New York Times and taking his popular FiveThirtyEight blog to ESPN. There he will broaden it beyond politics to sports and other topics. “The mix will be something like one-third sports, one-third politics and one-third other things,” he said.

Silver has had mixed results in the sports prediction business. He missed the call on the 2013 2011 Super Bowl champions for example, when the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco Forty-Niners

I asked Silver, who grew up as a Detroit Tigers fan, whether working in sports would spoil his passion for the game. “It could, kind of, but it also means you have a really cool job.”

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