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Policy: Technology

ESPN opens new digital center in Bristol

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News,Sports,Business,Connecticut,Media,Technology

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Sports broadcaster ESPN has opened its new digital broadcast center on its Bristol campus.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and ESPN president John Skipper cut a fiber-optic cable in place of the traditional ribbon to open the building Monday morning, which will be the new home of the network's signature "SportsCenter" show, among others.

The state-of-the-art, 194,000-square-foot building includes five new studios and is the cornerstone of ESPN's expansion in Bristol, where it was founded in 1979.

The nearly 10,000-square-foot "SportsCenter" studio is twice the size of the current studio and contains 100 more monitors, the company said.

It features a video floor, virtual technology, two touchscreens, a wall of 56 LED multi-dimensional monitors and the ability to do live and pre-produced segments simultaneously, the company said.

The $175 million center was built with the help of a state package that includes up to $10 million in tax credits over 10 years. The credits for reinvestment in urban and industrial sites are administered by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development.

Those come as part of the state's First Five job creation program in exchange for a promise from ESPN to create 200 new jobs in the state by 2017.

"ESPN has made a major investment in our future and will continue to grow in the state of Connecticut," Skipper said.

ESPN employs nearly 4,000 in the state.

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