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Viva la video musica

MTV goes global with bow of Latin VMAs

MIAMI — The MTV Video Music Awards Latin America will debut in the region live on Oct. 24 and air simultaneously on MTV2 in the U.S.

The Spanish-lingo kudocast will go global on another 20-plus MTV channels, including flagship MTV in the U.S.

“There is a huge Hispanic population in the U.S., the majority of which is in the MTV demographic,” MTV/MTV2 prexy Van Toffler told Daily Variety. “This is good for business and further promotes our goals of taking risks and exposing our viewers to new types of music.”

MTV Latin America, the last to get its own awards show, is a Spanish-lingo-only feevee with 12 million subs via three regional feeds in Mexico, Chile and Argentina. (MTV Brazil is a separate operation).

The debut Latin VMAs will be produced live from the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach. The winners will be chosen by the public, with voting online at www.mtvla.com.

The show will be co-hosted by Argentine TV and radio personality Mario Pergolini and Mexican actor Diego Luna (“Y tu mama tambien”).

Scheduled performers include Carlos Santana, Michelle Branch, Shakira, System of a Down and Mana. The MTV2 broadcast will have English subtitles.

To gear up for the show, MTV2, which reaches 45 million U.S. households, has programmed Oct. 19-20 as Latin Music Weekend.

MTV, which has about 80 million subs, will rebroadcast the kudocast Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. EST.

MTV’s 10 channels in Europe and eight channels in Asia, along with MTV Brazil and MTV Russia, also have signed on for the rebroadcast.

MTV has sold the terrestrial rights to the show to Mexican broadcaster Televisa’s Canal 5 as well as to broadcasters in Venezuela, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Panama, Ecuador and Nicaragua, and is in talks with others.

Wider aud

“This is a way for us to reach an audience that does not have pay-TV,” MTV Networks Latin America prexy Antoinette Zel told Daily Variety. In key markets like Mexico, where pay-TV penetration remains limited, “our brand is so much bigger, and this is a way to connect with young people who in their spirit and minds are MTV viewers.”

With the additional MTV and terrestrial outlets, MTV said the VMAs Latin America ultimately will reach more than 410 million households worldwide.

Toffler said advertiser response to the U.S. Spanish-lingo broadcast has been positive. “They are looking to target this young Hispanic audience.”

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