November 16, 2016 / 8:38 PM / 9 months ago

Miss Universe pageant to be held in Manila in January

Kazuo Okada, (L) chairman of Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc. and Shawn McClain, VP of Business Development and Marketing at the Miss Universe Organization, take part in the press launch of 65th annual Miss Universe competition to be held in the Philippines on January 30, 2017, during a news conference in Makati city, Metro Manila, Philippines November 16, 2016.Erik De Castro

MANILA, Philippines (Reuters) - Officials and organizers of the Miss Universe 2016 competition confirmed on Wednesday the next pageant will be held in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, in January 2017.

Miss Universe Organization Vice President Shawn McClain signed contracts with Philippine sponsors led by former governor Chavit Singson who will invest $11 million into the event.

Slideshow (2 Images)

Singson said he was glad to see the Miss Universe pageant "back home."

McClain said the Miss Universe Organization wants to host the pageant in Manila again for its "energetic" and "engaged" fan base.

The live broadcast of the competition draws 500 million viewers worldwide, including many from the Philippines, according to McClain.

The Philippines was the first Asian country to host the annual competition in 1974 and again held the pageant in 1994.

Filipina beauty queen Pia Wurtzbach holds the Miss Universe crown from 2015.

Reporting by Reuters TV in Manila; Editing by David Gregorio

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