Universal Sports To Relocate HD Production, Office Facilities

Universal Sports will ring in the new year with a state of the art production and office facility.

The network, a joint venture of NBC Universal and Leo Hindery's private-equity firm InterMedia Partners,

will consolidate its television and digital units into a 40,000-square-foot building in Westlake, Calif., near Thousand Oaks. The new facilities contain state-of-the-art production, control rooms, editing, sound and graphics facilities, with a 10,000-square- foot production area, as well as an 8,000-square-foot stage.

Employees and facilities currently located in Santa Monica and Glendale, Calif., as well as those in Bethesda, Md, will relocate to the new Universal Sports Campus in 2010; the sales staff will remain in New York. The new Universal Sports Campus includes the Four Seasons Hotel adjacent to the production facilities.

The facility was originally built by Dole Food. Co. chairman David Murdock, who had planned to launch a network to support and promote the endeavors of Dole Nutrition Institute and the California Health and Longevity Institute.

"Integrating our television, digital and corporate personnel into the new Universal Sports Westlake Campus is symbolic of our continued growth and commitment to expand our Olympic sports coverage," said Universal Sports chairman and CEO Claude Ruibal, in announcing the relocation. "We're very pleased we can offer our distributors, advertisers and viewers the best possible creative presentation of our products with the immediate ability to move to HD combined with the ability to offer ongoing live news coverage of the Olympic sports we cover.

Ruibal also noted that Universal Sports would look to tie into the "great synergistic opportunities David Murdock offers us by leveraging the incredible investments and research he and his team have done in health, nutrition and wellness at the Dole Nutrition Institute, CHILI and at the North Carolina Research Campus. One of the stated goals of our business is to encourage consumers to live a healthier lifestyle by participating in the sports we distribute and by engaging in eating habits that lead to a longer and healthier life."

Murdock also believes the companies can benefit each other: "We are very excited to be partnering with Universal Sports, not just at our production facility, but around helping us deliver our message of good nutrition. One of my missions in life is to share this kind of knowledge with others, so they can live more vital, active, satisfying lives. Universal Sports will be a perfect platform to help us accomplish this."