Robert Rodriguez has decided to base the production and corporate headquarters for his new English-language action-adventure channel, El Rey Network, near the home base of his Troublemaker Studios in Austin, Texas.
The start-up service, which already films its centerpiece program, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, in the Texas capital, committed to filming other scripted and unscripted content in the state. From Dusk Till Dawn will begin production on its second season later this year; El Rey Network's original series Matador will debut on July 15 but is produced in Los Angeles. The network said this will be the first time a general entertainment network has a formal production home in the Lone Star State.
El Rey's targeted 18-49 male audience includes in its core younger Latinos living in English-speaking households. The network said the choice of Texas accentuates the state's "identity as a beacon state for American Latino culture and entertainment."
"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 in a release.
The network did not say whether or not the city or state offered financial incentives, or if specific job or spending commitments were made in return. But Gov. Rick Perry and Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell were both quoted in the release, with the mayor saying "Austin is home to creative, talented people who do pioneering, game-changing work, and Robert Rodriguez exemplifies our creative base of talent." Calls to state and city spokespeople were not immediately returned. (Update: Melissa Alvarado, public information officer for Austin's Economic Development Department, said the city did not offer any incentives. Neither did the state, said Rich Parsons, deputy communications director in Gov. Perry's office.)
El Rey Network was founded by Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures co-founders John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa, backed by Univision Networks & Studios, and launched this past March 11 on cable and satellite distributors including Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable (via a Univision affiliation deal) and Dish Network. It has a current base of about 40 million subscribers.
Pictured: Robert Rodriguez of El Rey Network and Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell in an El Rey Network photo.