NEW YORK (Reuters) - NBC Sports Group has chosen Stamford, Connecticut, for new studios and offices at a former Clairol factory, promising to add 450 jobs in return for a $20 million loan, Governor Dannel Malloy said on Tuesday.
New York City, Stamford and New Jersey's Jersey City compete fiercely for big employers with incentive packages. Mayor Michael Bloomberg often cites the jobs created by recently built Brooklyn studios, which have become a force in the television and movie industries, as an important pillar of his plan to diversify the city's economy.
Stamford, which years ago lured hedge funds and other major financial companies from New York City, now looks likely to intensify the rivalry for media companies.
The new Stamford location for NBC Sports Group, starting in 2012, will consolidate much of the group's northeast operations, the governor and the company said in a statement.
NBC Sports Group said it will build "numerous" studios and as part of its partnership with the National Hockey League, NBC Sports Group will build a studio for the NHL Network for most of the hockey network's workers, creating even more jobs.
The Democratic governor, a former Stamford mayor, said NBCUniversal television production roots in the town date back to 2008. "I am strongly supportive of this expansion in Stamford because we continue to see the positive impact in the local economy and workforce," he said.
Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, said: "This new campus is about bringing people together to maximize production, creativity and efficient teamwork."
Connecticut needs to only attract two more large employers to complete it so-called "First Five" program, which offers incentives and tax credits to the first five companies that create 200 new jobs within two years, or invest $25 million and create 200 new jobs within five years.
The first three companies that opted for the offered incentives were CIGNA, TicketNetwork, and ESPN.
Malloy also recently persuaded UBS AG to remain in Stamford instead of shifting some highly paid investment bankers to New York City. The bank's decision was partly due to its disappointing profits.
(Reporting by Joan Gralla)