Oak View Group Partners With Media Giant SBS For Live Latin Music Events

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Singer Karol G performs onstage at Calibash Latin Music Festival, an event produced by SBS Entertainment, at Crypto.com Arena on Jan. 22, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

Two growing companies in live media entertainment have announced a partnership to build on the popularity and influence of Latin music. Oak View Group (OVG), a global venue development and investment company that also owns Pollstar, and SBS Entertainment, the live event division of Spanish Broadcasting System, announced a multiyear deal on Wednesday that will deliver more Latin-based events to OVG venues and new markets across the world.

The companies say the groundbreaking partnership “will reimagine the live performance landscape by bringing together both a media entertainment company and a venue entertainment company.” As part of the deal, SBS, one of the largest minority-owned, Hispanic-targeted media operations in the U.S., will have its signature events produced at UBS Arena in Belmont Park, New York. The venue that is home to the NHL’s New York Islanders will have its inaugural presentation of Mega Bash, an annual concert that features reggaeton and Latin trap stars, this December. The media company will also be developing new events for different markets and OVG venues such as the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, and California’s Acrisure Arena in the Greater Palm Springs area.

“As one of the largest concert producers in the nation and trailblazers for Latin music, it is our mission to continue to build upon our legacy by creating more unparalleled live music experiences for audiences across the globe,” Alessandra Alarcón, president of SBS Entertainment, said in a statement. “Our partnership with the Oak View Group is the first of its kind and we couldn’t be more excited to work with them to expand our footprint across their world-class venues and connect more Latin music fans with the artists they love.”

OVG President of Business Development Francesca Bodie says the move shows the company’s plan for growth not just nationally, but internationally as Latin music dominates airwaves and streaming platforms.

“As the popularity and globalization of Latin music continue to rise, we’re delighted to partner with SBS Entertainment to broaden its audience, while delivering greater diversity across our business, and bringing its iconic live events to OVG’s roster of world-class arenas,” she said.

The deal comes on the heels of a report from the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) that shows the growth of Latin music in the retail market. The genre generated never-before-seen revenues in 2022 totaling $1.1 billion and outpaced the industry overall with an increase of 24% when compared to the previous year. RIAA’s annual review also stated that Latin music had an all-time high market share of 6.9%.

“When Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti became the first non-English language album to ever top the Billboard 200 or Becky G, Daddy Yankee, Jhayco, Karol G, Luis Miguel, Rosalía and Sofía Reyes hit the mainstream, it was clear Latin music’s hot streak was just lighting up,” Rafael Fernandez Jr., RIAA SVP of State Public Policy and Industry Relations, said in a statement. “U.S. Latin music revenues in 2022 exceeded $1 billion for the first time and grew significantly faster than the broader industry. That sustained expansion speaks to an openness to new artists, music and ways of listening. As the son of Cuban immigrants, my earliest musical memories are that of Latin origins from Lalo Rodrigues to Eddie Ruiz so to see this genre that was so defining for me early on, and throughout my career connecting policymakers to support the culture, reaching these heights is truly remarkable.”

The figures were just as strong when it came to touring. Twenty-two Latin acts placed among the top 200 in Pollstar’s 2022 year-end charts with Bad Bunny at the top. The Puerto Rican star set the all-time touring record last year grossing a mammoth $435 million. Karol G also had a remarkable 2022 with her “$trip Love Tour” raking in more than $97 million to become the highest-grossing U.S. tour for a female Latin concert headliner.

“It’s not just the streaming of music, but the social media platforms,” Hans Schafer, SVP of Global Touring at Live Nation, told Pollstar in November. “All of those things are indicative of the growth of Latin in general, and Latin and touring is something that really speaks to the purchasing power of what we represent in this country, which is something to be very proud of.”