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MTV Latinoamérica (1993)

MTV Latin America

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MTV Latin America (also known as MTV Latinoamérica, MTV Latino or MTV Latin) is a cable television specialty service aimed at residents in Hispanic American countries. It was launched on October 1, 1993 as MTV en Español. The channel is a Hispanic American version from MTV. The channel is property of MTV Networks Latin America, a subsidiary of Viacom.

MTV Latin America’s principal objective is to broadcast music videos as well as reality shows, series, and films, which may be directly or indirectly related to music. All programming is related in some way to youth culture. MTV Latin America’s programming focuses on certain musical genres, mainly pop, soft rock, Latin pop, and hip hop. Each of these categories includes music in English and Spanish.

The service is headquartered in Miami Beach. MTV Latin America is distributed via satellite, cable, and other terrestrial distribution through of three different feeds in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico.

The channel has also their own versions of MTV reality shows like Room Raiders or Dismissed, but most of the time the bad words are not censored in Latin América Regions . The first video shown was We Are South American Rockers by the Chilean band Los Prisioneros.


A few important events in the late 1980s led to the creation of MTV Latin America. Firstly, the program “MTV International” was created in 1988 and led by Daisy Fuentes. This weekly program was broadcast through Latin American and American channels and presented music videos from both regions. A second catalyst was the rise of the “Spanish Rock fever”, which included artists such as Argentinean rockers Miguel Mateos and Soda Stereo. Lastly, during these years the first-ever Spanish rock concert in the US. was put on by Miguel Mateos, which created excitement amongst Latino communities in the United States.

With the growing popularity of Latino artists, channel executives began to take notice and realized the increasing quality and popularity of music sung in Spanish. After considering the success of other international MTV channels, such as MTV Europe and MTV Brazil, MTV Networks launched “MTV in Spanish” in October 1993. The channel had one signal to broadcast to all of Latin America. All programs were recorded and produced in Miami, FL where the studios were located. Daisy Fuentes became one of the first VJs for the channel.

As the channel began to experience growing popularity in the early part of 1995, new shows were added to the program. For the first time, shows unrelated to music were broadcast, such as “Beavis and Butthead”. “MTV News” was added, a segment dedicated to news on celebrities, film, politics and social issues, usually combining subjective and objective commentary. Lastly, in this same year the show “Connection” was launched, the most popular show in the channel’s history, which has remained on air for a record length of time and boasts the largest audience of any program in the history of the channel.

Given the channel’s social and economic growth, in April 1996 “MTV in Spanish” was divided into two regional signals, “North”, covering Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela, and “South”, covering the rest of the region. This division was created in order to cater programming more closely to distinct audiences. As a result, in 1996 MTV became the number one music channel in Latin America. The channel also became one of the first US television brands to develop a website for Latin America audiences with the launch MTVLA.com in partnership with the Miami-based company Internet Marketing Consultants, Inc.

However, during the 1990s the channel began experiencing problems. The musical aspect of “MTV in Spanish” was disorganized and the channel was having trouble catering to distinct regional tastes. Executives decided to segment audiences by dividing the channel into three signals: “MTV Mexico”, “MTV Central” and “MTV Argentina”, with studios and regional offices located in capital cities of each country.

During this time, the channel began to show American MTV programs subtitled in Spanish. As well, in the year 2000, MTV created a new signal directed towards Chile, known as “MTV Southwest”, which repeated programming from MTV Mexico but adjusted to Chilean time. While at first MTV thought about repeating MTV Argentina’s programming for the Chilean signal because of the proximity of the countries, it was decided that considering cultural traits and the difference in accents between Chilean and Argentine Spanish, it would be more suitable to adapt Mexican programming for the Chilean signal. However, in 2004, MTV Southwest was cancelled due to the low number of viewers. Currently, three signals operate in Latin America: “MTV North”, covering Mexico, “MTV Central”, covering Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and Central American countries and “MTV South”, covering Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "MTV Latin America", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.