NBC's Telemundo has partnered with The Puerto Rico Tourism Company to take its popular music franchise the Billboard Latin Music Awards to the island in the spring of 2010. This will mark the first time Telemundo takes the show on the road in the eleven years it had broadcast it live in the U.S. and 30 other countries.
The agreement, whose financials were not disclosed, will take the 2010 Billboard Latin Music Awards to Puerto Rico on April 29th, culminating the three-day Billboard Latin Music Conference, which also is taking place in San Juan for the first time. Telemundo was actually born in Puerto Rico, where founder Angel Ramos built the first TV station at a newspaper building in Old San Juan, from where Telemundo's WKAQ was born in 1954. "This is a dream come true for our Puerto Rico station," Don Browne, president of Telemundo, told Multichannel News.
During a press conference in Puerto Rico, Browne highlighted the importance of the island in the history of Telemundo. In March 2010 the network will turn 56 years old. "The Latin Billboard Awards is our premiere event; it's extremely important to us and to our sponsors," Browne said about the event, which in 2009 delivered its best ratings ever.
Per Nielsen data, the 2009 Billboard Latin Music Awards telecast had its best ratings ever among adults 18 to 49, adults 18 to 34, women 18 to 49, men 18 to 49, men 18 to 34 and persons 2+, reaching 5.8 million unique viewers during the telecast -- 300,000 over the previous year. The 2009 show was the first aired in the high-definition format in the 11 years since Telemundo had started to broadcast it live.
"Puerto Rico is a tremendous launch pad for Latin artists," added Browne about the birthplace of stars, including Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, among others.
Earlier this year Telemundo and Billboard announced an extension of their multi-year deal to present the Latin music awards, with producer Tony Mojena continuing as the show's executive producer. The agreement grants Telemundo expanded exclusive rights across multiple platforms, including TV, online and mobile.