MTV kudos go south

Latam awards will air from Mexican resort

MIAMI — MTV Latin America will confirm today that it’s moving its fourth MTV Video Music Awards Latin America from Miami to Mexico — not to the capital as earlier rumored, but to the resort of Playa del Carmen near Cancun.

Formal announcement will be made at a press conference in Mexico City.

The Oct. 20 live kudocast will air from a venue inside eco-water park Xcaret, with the Foo Fighters confirmed on the performance lineup.

Show mixes perfs and presentations by Latin American artists with international ones — and the 2004 show favored live music over handing out kudos.

The Spanish-language music channel is receiving crucial backing from Mexico’s Promotion and Tourism Board.

“Without their support, I’m not sure we would be able to pull this off,” said Pierluigi Gazzolo, managing director of MTV Networks Latin America.

Mexico represents 35% of the channel’s business, Gazzolo said. (MTV Brasil is a separate operation from the Spanish-language MTV Latin America.)

MTV held its 10th anniversary celebration in Mexico City in 2003 and introduced the MTV Mexican movie awards that year. This year’s Mexican film kudos will be held May 31. Mexico was also the first country in which MTV rolled out VH1 Latin America and a suite of digital feevees in 2004.

“We are moving toward more localization,” Gazzolo said. “We’re increasing our investment in the region in terms of production.”

MTV also hopes the show’s new home will boost ad revenue and off-air revenue opportunities.

“The value of the actual show (in Miami) has been increasing,” Gazzolo said. “It’s become a tentpole event. Advertisers perceive it as one of the most important live events in the region.”

MTV Latin America reaches 15 million pay TV homes in Spanish-speaking Latin America.

In years past, MTV2 in the U.S. has simulcast the show, and the flagship U.S. net has rebroadcast it. MTV said those two U.S. nets will air the ceremony, but dates have not yet been confirmed. Show is also made available to other MTV nets around the world.

MTV licenses the Latin American VMAs to in-region broadcasters who can air it seven days after the live telecast. Although MTV has not struck multiyear deals in the region, MTV already has a renewed commitment from media giant conglom Televisa in Mexico. (Televisa airs a Nickelodeon programming block, and the two companies announced a product licensing and publishing deal in November.)

MTV expects to renew accords with its other broadcast partners in region.