NBCUniversal’s 30 Rock to get a technical facelift

NBCUniversal has announced it will make a $190 million investment in its New York City operations, including 30 Rockefeller Plaza and other facilities.

The upgrade includes high-definition technical facilities for many of its most popular news programs ( and flagship O&O WNBC-TV) that will use “best-in-class, state-of-the-art technology,” the network said. New construction includes building a new state-of-the-art studio control room, and updating critical components of the company’s technical infrastructure. That will also include replacing the existing underlying broadcast origination technology,” as well as implementing a new studio and production-related “fiber highway.”

The network did not specify what brands of new video equipment it would install or what percentage of the $190 million would go for the technology upgrade.

The project, which is expected to continue through the second quarter of 2014, includes the renovation of approximately 1.2 million square feet of space within 30 Rock. This includes both office and technical facilities.

The projects will create about 484,000 man-hours of employment between now and the second quarter of 2014, when the rebuilds are scheduled to be completed, the company estimated.

As part of the upgrades to its facilities, the company also plans to implement a number of energy saving technologies as part of its “Green Is Universal” initiative.

The network said all aspects of the renovation will employ “sustainable materials” and processes.

Although the network did not outline its environmental plans, its Weather Channel facility in Atlanta has received a Gold LEED new construction certificate for several construction approaches including the use of heat from studio lighting to warm the building. At Universal Studios in Los Angeles, solar power is extensively used and a natural gas fuel cell supplies electricity and hot water to food production kitchens.

The upgrade “will enable new production techniques and new productions of all kinds to have their home at 30 Rock and to generate increasing employment through the five boroughs of the city,” said Rick Cotton, NBCUniversal executive vice president.

Other construction at 30 Rock, which houses NBC News and Saturday Night Live among other programs, includes the building of a new two-story commissary. The commissary should be completed by the end of the year.

Construction also will be completed at the company’s leased offices at 1212 Avenue of the Americas, where NBCUniversal has nearly 245,000 square feet of space.

“We’re building on an 85-year history that stretches back to the earliest days of broadcast entertainment,” said Pat Fili-Krushel, executive vice president. In fact, NBC’s partnership with Rockefeller Center dates back to 1933, when the 30 Rock address was first called the RCA Building.