Latino musican awards program goes national

Awards program honoring Latino musicians goes national
By Sandra Zaragoza, Austin Business Journal - July 16, 2009

Editors Note: Music Industry Today is a series that will appear on this site every Thursday looking at the issues and artists shaping Austin's music scene.

Demonstrating the growing strength of the Texas Hispanic market, an Austin-based Latino music awards show will receive national air time this year.

For the first time, “Premios Texas 2009” is airing nationally on cable, Spanish-languange network GalavisiĆ³n on Sunday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. CT. Univision — GalavisiĆ³n’s parent company — will also air the show in some of its markets. Austin-based KAKW Univision 62 produces the awards program.

Luis Patino, vice president general manager of Univision 62, said getting national air time speaks to the wide appeal of the show’s musical line up, as well as Texas’ growing clout in the Latino music industry.

“The state of Texas and the Texas Hispanic market represent a large business opportunity for a lot of these record labels,” Patino said. “There is a lot of influence that Texas has over the music industry.”

In its fifth year, the awards show is now national in scope. This year’s show will feature bands and artists from around the world, as well as local bands, such as Vallejo. The musicians represent various Latin music genres, including pop, tropical, regional Mexican, rock and urban. The award winners are chosen by Texas voters.

A free pre-event concert on Aug. 12 is expected to draw about 5,000 people. The invite-only awards program will take place at the Long Center on Aug. 13, and attract about 2,500 people.

The awards show has been profitable for the station, Patino said, declining to disclose specific figures.

Tecate Light is the event’s title sponsor for the second year in the row. The program has also attracted Target, but Patino said that two major sponsors are still pending.

Given the economy, sponsorship is not what the station would have liked, but Patio believes it will end up about flat compared to last year.

Nevertheless, garnering national air time is proof positive that there is a demand for this type of event, Patino said.

“I think that there was a heavy demand to have this type of premium property,” he said.

Patino hopes that the show will also raise Univision’s profile in the Austin market.

“People don’t realize that [Univision 62] is the No. 1 station in the market,” Patino said. “This is a statement on where Austin is going, where Austin is and the relevance of Spanish-language media.”

Univision 62 nabbed the No. 1 spot for the 5 p.m. newscast among 18-49 year olds for the entire first half of 2009, he said.

As far as “Premios Texas” goes, the station’s long-term goal is to expand its reach.

“It would be nice to continue to showcase Austin. We are the Live Music Capital of the World; We want Austin to be the Live Music Capital of Latin Music,” Patino said.

szaragoza@bizjournals.com

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