Comcast to shell out $250 million for new Telemundo headquarters

Comcast-owned Telemundo will relocate to a newly constructed $250 million headquarters northwest of Miami in Hialeah, Fla., the Philadelphia cable and entertainment giant said Tuesday.

The Spanish-language network’s current studios and head offices are now a collection of warehouses and buildings within walking distance of each other in Latino-rich Hialeah. The new facility will open in 2018, or about the same time Comcast will occupy its second skyscraper in its headquarters complex in Center City.

“We think we have a world-class network,” Comcast executive vice president David Cohen said on Monday. “This is a big market. We don’t have to beat Univision to have an enormously successful network.”

Cohen flew to the Miami area for the announcement that is expected to be attended by Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Though a perennial No. 2 to Univision, Telemundo narrowed Univision’s lead to 923,000 viewers in 2015 from 2.4 million in 2011, according to Nielsen figures provided by Telemundo. These were prime-time viewers during weekdays. Univision has not commented.

Univision's average weekday prime-time audience fell to 2.6 million last year from 3.7 million in 2011. Telemundo’s prime-time audience, meanwhile, grew to 1.7 million from 1.3 million.

Telemundo, starved for funds under former corporate owner General Electric, attributes the positive ratings trends to fast-paced American-style dramas. Among the most popular has been El Señor de Los Cielos ("Lord of the Skies") about a narco-trafficker who comes back from the dead to seek revenge on enemies.

Telemundo is the largest producer of Spanish-language shows in the United States, Cohen said. Univision imports its telenovelas from Mexico.

About 1,100 Telemundo employees will relocate to the new studios and headquarters on 21 acres at NW 25th Street and the Florida Turnpike. The operation could grow to 1,300 employees. Comcast will receive incentives as part of the new headquarters. But they were unavailable.

Florida has been a big beneficiary of Comcast’s recent growth plans at the NBCUniversal entertainment subsidiary. The company recently acquired 475 acres of undeveloped land in the Orlando, Fla., tourism corridor, nearly doubling the landholdings of its Universal theme park. The parcel was a former missile-testing range and one of the area's last big undeveloped tracts.