Gov. Malloy: ESPN Expansion is Raising Digital Sports Media Profile and Creating Hundreds of Jobs for Residents
(BRISTOL, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by executives of ESPN and state and local officials, today celebrated the grand opening of ESPN's state-of-the-art Digital Center 2 building, a project announced two years ago as part of the Governor's First Five economic development program. The new facility increases the company's digital capabilities and will create at least 200 jobs in the state over the next three years.
"ESPN is a leading employer in our state, and the company's willingness to continue to expand and hire here demonstrates that Connecticut really is a great place to grow and invest," said Governor Malloy. "ESPN's new digital center will create hundreds of new jobs for residents and reinforces the company and our state's well-earned reputation as a hub for sports digital media and broadcasting."
Digital Center 2 is a 194,000 square foot, multi-platform digital production facility that includes four studios, six production control rooms and 26 edit rooms. The facility will be the new home of ESPN's flagship program SportsCenter beginning in June. ESPN employs nearly 4,000 in the state and is Bristol's largest taxpayer.
"ESPN appreciates the support of Governor Malloy and the state as we continue to grow in Connecticut," said Ed Durso, ESPN's Executive Vice President/Administration.
In exchange for creating a minimum of 200 jobs by 2017 and making capital expenditures of at least $175 million in the facility, ESPN is eligible for up to $10 million in Urban and Industrial Sites Reinvestment Tax Credits (URA). The credits, which must be earned, are provided over a 10-year period. The URA program is administered by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).
"Public-private partnerships with leading companies like ESPN can have tremendous direct and indirect benefits for our state," said DECD commissioner Catherine Smith. "In addition to the jobs and new capital investment, this project strengthens the state's competitive position in the growing digital media sector."
The "First Five" program is designed to attract large-scale business development projects by augmenting and combining the state's best incentive and tax credit programs for the first five companies that create 200 new jobs within two years, or invest $25 million and create 200 new jobs within five years. In 2011, Governor Malloy announced ESPN became the third Connecticut company to take advantage of the First Five program.
ESPN, Inc., is the world's leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of seven 24-hour domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes and ESPN 3D). ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS HD are simulcast services. Other businesses include ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (46 networks, syndication, radio, websites), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN3.com (broadband sports network) ESPN Mobile, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN PPV and other growing new businesses, including ESPN on Demand and ESPN Interactive. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.