State won't pay full incentives to Miss USA
BATON ROUGE - The state will pay less money to the Miss USA Pageant than initially agreed, according to the Lieutenant Governor's Office.
Originally Louisiana state officials agreed to pay $50,000 cash as part of an incentives package to have the Miss USA pageant held in Baton Rouge. That was before Miss Universe CEO Donald Trump made controversial comments about Mexican immigrants which caused NBC and Univision to refuse to air the program.
The pageant dropped millions of viewers as a result, even after Reelz Network agreed to stream it online. Because of the drop in exposure for Louisiana, Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said they state will only pay half the agreed-upon amount, or $25,000.
"It's not what we bargained for, at the $50,000 dollars obviously, because we didn't get the NBC coverage," Dardenne told News 2. "But we're grateful to Reelz Network for stepping in and providing a great show, and providing an audience for the pageant which I thought was absolutely essential."
The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board will still pay its $15,000 commitment. Visit Baton Rouge still owes $75,000 for its incentive package, but hasn't said how much of it they will pay.