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MTV moves Latin kudos

Move indicates country's rising role as leading market

MIAMI — As MTV U.S. readies the granddaddy Video Music Awards for a second go-round in Miami, sister net MTV Latin America is moving its regional kudocast to Mexico City.

MTV Latin America debuted its regional VMA show in October 2002, airing live on the panregional, Spanish-lingo network from the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach. The Latin American VMAs were also simulcast for U.S. auds on MTV2.

Move signals the position of Mexico as the most important Spanish-lingo market in Latin America. Although pay TV penetration rates are lower than those of Argentina, Mexico is adding subs, and its economy is far stronger.

MTV Networks Latin America last year chose Mexico as the first country in which to introduce VH1 Latin America as well as a package of five digital channels. And last June, it also bowed the MTV Movie Awards Mexico.

U.S. MTV flagship net announced in April that the 22nd MTV Video Music Awards would be held in Miami on Aug. 28.