Nate Silver to Speak at South by Southwest's Inaugural SXsports

 Comedy Central

Oddsmaking superstar Nate Silver, an expert statistician who runs the FiveThirtyEight blog, will speak at a panel at SXsports, a new sports-themed component of Austin's annual South by Southwest Festival.

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Announced on Tuesday, SXsports will be held from Friday, March 7, through Sunday, March 9, 2014, and be available to all registrants of the interactive and film arms of the festival. SXsports will incorporate screenings and panel elements, touching "on all aspects of sports through the SXSW lens of culture, media and innovation," according to a statement from SXSW organizers.

Adds Rebecca Feferman, the film fest's media relations head and programmer, "We can't wait to connect the sports world with our passionate audience of early adopters, culture nuts, digital creatives, and so much more.”

While the SXsports schedule is still coming together, confirmed participants at SXsports include columnist and Grantland founder Bill Simmons -- who'll be joined by Silver on a panel titled "Media & The Personal Brand" -- Texas Tech football coach Kliff Kingsbury and Mandalay Entertainment CEO Peter Guber, co-owner of the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Dodgers.

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What began as a music festival attended by hundreds in the 1980s has grown into one of the premier entertainment and media gatherings in the world, with registered attendance at last year's South by Southwest numbering 70,000. The film festival began in 1994 and multimedia started the year after that. In 1999, the latter was renamed SXSW Interactive.

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