EXCLUSIVE: El Rey Network, the English-language cable network co-founded by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, will have its production and corporate headquarters in Austin, marking the first time a general entertainment network will have a formal production home in the state. The network targeting English-speaking Latino viewers, which launched last year, has offices in New York and Los Angeles, which will continue to function while the company grows its employee base in Austin. The move expands Rodriguez’s presence in Austin — his own Troublemaker Studios has been based in the Texas capital since 1998. El Rey already is filming its first original scripted series, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, in Austin. The drama, an offshoot of Rordiguez’s cult movie, had its premiere at Austin’s SXSW and already has been renewed for a second season. It will be joined by a number of other scripted and unscripted content for the network. “I want to be among the first to thank El Rey for joining a long list of businesses to call Texas home,” Gov. Rick Perry said. “El Rey is an important part of our burgeoning television production community, helping build our long-term industry infrastructure and making Texas even more competitive for jobs in movies and television.” Added Mayor Lee Leffingwell (pictured with Rodriguez), “The City of Austin works every day to support Austin’s creative economy sector, which has a $4.35 billion local economic impact, and having the El Rey Network headquartered in Austin will strengthen our creative sector for years to come.”
Founded by Rodriguez, along with FactoryMade Ventures’ John Fogelman & Cristina Patwa and Univision, El Rey projects investing about $1.5 billion and is currently available to over 40 million homes in the U.S. “As a filmmaker and founder of El Rey Network, I can’t imagine a more iconic and inspiring location for our production headquarters or for the filming of our upcoming projects,” Rodriguez said.
Perry has long championed the Texas film and television industry. A 2011 study conducted by the IC2 Institute and Bureau of Business Research at The University of Texas at Austin found that the $598.3 million in direct moving images production spending in Texas between 2007-2010 resulted in (i) $489.4 million in increased economic activity and (ii) $40 million in new state and local tax revenue.