Billboard, the international newsweekly of the music industry, and Telemundo announced a multi-year extension for the production and broadcast of the Billboard Latin Music Awards show on the Telemundo Network. The annual event honors the year's biggest Latin music stars. Winners are chosen based on their performances on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks and Top Latin Albums charts, which reflect radio airplay and sales success.
Billboard has conducted a Latin Music Award ceremony for twelve years, and in 1999 Telemundo and Billboard entered into an agreement to broadcast the award show. The televised show has attracted many of the biggest names in Latin music including Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Alejandro Fernández, Son By Four, Paulina Rubio, Thalía, Alejandro Sanz, Ricky Martin, Shakira, Tito Puente, Marc Anthony, Elvis Crespo, and many others.
"We are thrilled to be extending and expanding our relationship with Billboard," says Alan Sokol, COO of Telemundo Communications Group, Inc. "Through our collective efforts, the Billboard Latin Music Awards Show has become the premier Latin music event in the U.S. We look forward to making the show the best music awards show in the U.S.--English or Spanish."
The Billboard Latin Music Awards broadcast has been Telemundo's highest-rated special for the last two years and has shown exponential growth. The 2001 broadcast reached an audience of 1.3 million viewers, an increase of 25% over the previous year. In addition to the U.S., the 2001 show was broadcast in various countries, including the Dominican Republic, Perú, México, Venezuela, Argentina, Guatemala, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
"Telemundo is the perfect partner for the Billboard Latin Music Awards and we are excited to extend our partnership with them," comments Howard Appelbaum, VP of the Billboard Music Group. "Together, we are deeply committed to the single purpose of creating the world's premier Latin music show."