Comcast Sports Group employees in Philadelphia have a decision to make by Monday: move to Connecticut and stay with the company or find another job.
A source employed at Comcast informed Patch that employees were handed letters Friday stating each has until Oct. 1 to decide to move to new corporate headquarters in Stamford, CT.
The letters asked employees to check a box with their final decision—move or not—but Tim Fitzpatrick of NBC Sports said this is not a new development and employees have known for "months and months" of the Oct. 1 deadline.
"We have been communicating with affected employees continually throughout this process, beginning when it was first announced last year," Fitzpatrick told Patch.
The Philadelphia offices for Comcast Sports Group, which is owned by NBC Sports, are set close in Philadelphia in spring 2013. News of Comcast Sports Group's move to Connecticut has not been a secret, however. Sports Business Daily reported that NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus and group president Jon Litner—who oversees Comcast SportsNet regional sports networks—announced in 2011 that more than 300 NBC Sports employees will move to Stamford, CT.
NBC Sports, Versus and Comcast SportsNet operate out of offices in Manhattan, Connecticut and Philadelphia. The move, according to the article, puts all of NBC Sports under one roof.
Tax breaks in Connecticut offered to the TV and film industry, as well as cheaper rent for its employees, helped prompt the move, according to Sports Business Daily.
Connecticut is also the home of sports broadcasting competitor ESPN.
According to an October 2011 Philadelphia Inquirer article, Comcast, after acquiring a controlling interest in NBC Universal, transferred ownership of Versus and SportsNet to NBC Sports, which, in turn, folded those businesses into its operations.
Comcast is headquartered in Center City Philadelphia.
NBC Sports released a statement on the realignment Friday afternoon:
"As announced a year ago, next spring the NBC Sports Regional Networks office in Philadelphia is relocating to a new state-of-the-art facility in Stamford, CT, as part of the integration of NBC Sports offices. Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia is not affected.
"The company has been communicating with employees continually throughout this ongoing process. After making an initial declaration this past summer about whether they intend to move, employees are being asked to formally confirm their intentions on Monday. Every employee is being offered a comparable position in Stamford. Employees that relocate are being offered relocation benefits and assistance and employees that do not relocate are being offered severance and other benefits."
Editor's note: This story was updated with additional information at 3:20 p.m. Sept. 28.